Characterization of microplastics ingested by mussels.Toward the determination of a bio-sentinel species of the marine environment contamination by microplastics?
Responsible Partner: IFREMER, CEFAS, IEO Date: November 2023 Download: Link to report Description: The aim of this project task was to test the use of mussels for monitoring microplastic contamination on an Atlantic Area network consisting of the UK, France and Spain. The results indicate that MPs are present in mussels from all three countries, confirming that MPs are ubiquitous in the North Atlantic. The use of mussels as an indicator of MPs contamination along the European Atlantic coastline appears, in this study, to be consistent.
Investigation of seafloor litter for the presence of Non-Indigenous Species during French annual fisheries surveys in the North Sea, English Channel, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay 2021-2022
Responsible Partner: IFREMER Date: August 2023 Download: Link to report Description: Seafloor litter samples were collected as part of the International Bottom Trawl Surveys in 2021 and 2022. The surfaces of 146 macrolitter items taken from benthic trawl surveys conducted in the North-East Atlantic were examined for the presence of macrofauna, including Non-Indigenous Species (NIS). A total of 145 taxa were recorded, including three NIS (the barnacles Solidobalanus fallax and Austrominius modestus and the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata).
Assessing the economic impact of marine litter on tourism: Madeira case study
Responsible Partner: ARDITI, DRAAC Date: August 2023 Download: Link to report Description: this study provides new knowledge about the economic cost of marine litter on the tourism sector. Moreover, this study confirms that assessing the full economic impact of marine litter is complex, since there are several hidden and indirect associated costs.
Evaluation of the potential harm caused to the marine environment by cigarette filters
Responsible Partner: CEDRE, CEFAS & IEO-CSIC Date: August 2023 Download: Link to report Description: As part of the Interreg Project CleanAtlantic, Cedre, Cefas and IEO conducted a study on the potential harm of cigarette filter on the marine environment in order to (i) provide new knowledge on abundance, fate and potential impacts of cigarette butts (CBs) on the marine environment and associated recommendations in order to support decision-making regarding this litter type and (ii) feed the action 48 of OSPAR Regional Action Plan 2014- 2020. The results of this study are presented in this report. It includes an analysis of cigarette filter abundance and distribution on Atlantic Area beaches using OSPAR beach litter monitoring data, a literature review and an experimental study addressing CBs behaviour, degradation, toxicity and release of chemical and a review of existing initiatives, measures or actions to reduce CBs pollution. The study confirmed that cigarette butts are harmful for the marine environment and for aquatic environments in general.
Evaluation of the potential harm caused to the marine environment by plastic cotton bud sticks
Responsible Partner: CEDRE Date: June 2023 Download: Link to report Description: As part of the Interreg Project CleanAtlantic, Cedre conducted a study on the potential harm of plastic cotton bud sticks on the marine environment in order to (i) support the design of management plans that aim at reducing the presence and impacts of these items to acceptable levels and (ii) feed the action 48 of OSPAR Regional Action Plan 2014- 2020. The results of this study are presented in this report. It includes an analysis of plastic cotton bud sticks abundance and distribution on Atlantic Area beaches using OSPAR beach litter monitoring data and a synthesis of existing knowledge about plastic cotton bud sticks origin, fate and impact on the marine environment.
Marine Litter and offshore Aquaculture: an interview survey-based case study in Madeira
Responsible Partner: ARDITI Date: February 2021 Download: Link to report Description: This report showcases results gathered from interview-based surveys of aquaculture personnel in Madeira Island (Portugal) to investigate interactions between marine litter and this activity.
Evaluation of marine litter as transport facilitator for nuisance biota
Responsible Partner: ARDITI Date: April 2021 Download: Link Description: This report examines the role of marine litter as a vector facilitator for dispersal of attached and mobile species in the Madeira Archipelago, Portugal.
Review of economic sectors impacted by marine litter in the Atlantic Area: Cost-benefit analysis; General overview of economic impacts and policy recommendations; Guidelines.
Responsible Partner: CEFAS Date: September 2021 Download: Link to report Description: This document presents some cost-benefit analyses building on the results of the case study area investigations undertaken in previous tasks (UK, Ireland, Spain and Madeira) in order to provide some recommendations on how to design the needed marine litter policies for these three sectors in the light of the results of the whole work undertaken in WP4.
Towards a protocol for the observation of microplastics in Biota
Responsible Partner: CEFAS Date: April 2020 Download: link Description: This report discusses a number of publications which document the ingestion of microplastics by biota comparing the methodology for detection and quantification of microplastics in biota and a suitable and sustainable indicator species for the monitoring of microplastics in biota in the Atlantic area.
Strategy and constraints to support monitoring of Marine Litter Harm: Towards a protocol for the observation of marine organisms entangled/strangled/covered by marine litter during ROV operations
Responsible Partner: Ifremer Date: Aug 2020 Download: PDF Description: The objective of this report is to review the possible strategies and constraints for monitoring the impact of marine litter in the OSPAR region and to assess the potential of a new indicator of entanglement. Thie report is the result of the research performed within CleanAtlantic, taking advantage of the work done previously by OSPAR, UNEP MAP (Barcelona convention), EU MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter (TGML) and some EU projects like INDICIT (EU wide), Actions for Marine Protected Areas (AMAre -Mediterranean Sea, https://amare.interreg-med.eu), and Plastic Busters in Marine Protected Areas PBMPA -Mediterranean Sea, https://plasticbustersmpas.interreg-med.eu).
Review of Economic Sectors Impacted by Marine Litter in the Atlantic Area
Responsible Partner: CEFAS Date: 17/12/2019 Download: File Description: This report reviews the various forms of marine litter and explores their impacts on different economic sectors making use of an ecosystem services approach.
Could a mix of short- and long-term policies be the solution to tackle marine litter? Insights from a choice experiment in England and Ireland
Responsible Partner: CEFAS Date: November 2022 Download: English Description: This study specifically examines the preferences and willingness to pay of English and Irish respondents towards the removal and prevention of marine litter, and the trade-off between different short-term (e.g., beach clean-up) and long-term (e.g., ban on single use plastic) policy actions.
Microplastic occurrence in deep-sea fish species Alepocephalus bairdii and Coryphaenoides rupestris from the Porcupine Bank (North Atlantic)
Responsible Partner: IEO Date: August 2022 Download: English Description:In this study, bathydemersal species Alepocephalus bairdii and Coryphaenoides rupestris from the Porcupine Bank caught between 985 and 1037 m depth were inspected for microdebris. The stomach contents were digested by the alkaline method plus ethanol addition to avoid clogging. A filament of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) was found in the stomach of a specimen of A. bairdii, representing 4% of the total sampled specimens of this species (i.e. prevalence in n = 25). However, when considering potential microplastics, the prevalence increased to 28% in both, A. bairdii and C. rupestris. This work provides the first baseline study of microplastic items in fish from such depths in the Atlantic and suggests these species might be used as biomonitors in future research.
The role of cigarette butts as vectors of metals in the marine environment: Could it cause bioaccumulation in oysters?
Responsible Partner: IEO, CEDRE Date: August 2021 Download:Link to publication Description:Tobacco is a well-documented threat to human health. However, its environmental impact has only recently been considered. Metals can interact with cigarette butts (CBs) being transported in the marine environment and reaching organisms. To understand this mechanism, a series of metal(loid)s were analyzed in cigarette filters (virgin, artificially smoked, leached in seawater and aged in beach and harbour) as well as in artificially contaminated oyster tissues. Smoked filters showed higher levels of metals compared to the virgin ones showing enrichment factors up to 90, probably associated with tobacco metal content. Once the CBs are delivered to the environment, metals can be leached to seawater until reaching equilibrium, which may be dependent on initial metal levels in the water. Copper was the element with the highest percentage of desorption (91 ± 3%) while strontium showed the lowest percentage (40 ± 0%). CBs revealed a great capacity to accumulate metals from the environment when weathered in contaminated areas. A chemical impact derived from CBs contamination might exist as they serve as a carrier for metals in the marine environment. The release of metals from CBs or the ingestion of metal loaded CBs may pose a toxicological risk for marine organisms via accumulation in their tissues.
Will COVID-19 Containment and Treatment Measures Drive Shifts in Marine Litter Pollution?
Responsible Partner: ARDITI, OSPAR and DRAAC Date: August 2020 Download:Link to publication Description: This opinion article underlines the authors’ concern about the mass use of disposable masks and other personal protective equipment without a concerted strategy for their recycling, which could result in an increase of litter entering the marine ecosystems. The paper intends to act as a call on policy makers and international organizations to maintain their goals in plastic reduction in the oceans and to adapt their litter monitoring programs so as to identify litter from the use and disposal of personal protective equipment.
Microplastic ingestion by pelagic and benthic fish and diet composition: A case study in the NW Iberian shelf
Responsible Partner: IEO Date: March 2020 Download:Link to publication Description: This study evaluated the incidence of microplastics in the digestive tract contents of four fish species: Engraulis encrasicolus, Sardina pilchardus, Callionymus lyra and Mullus surmuletus. Alkaline digestion (10% KOH) was used to degrade the organic matter. The percentage of fish with microplastics was 78% (88% fibres, 12% fragments). The main types of polymers identified by Raman spectroscopy were polyethylene and polypropylene. The diet of the four species was also studied and two feeding types were determined: plankton-feeders and benthic-feeders. The effect of a set of biological variables (Length, Fullness index, Fulton’s condition factor and Feeding type) on the number and size of microplastics ingested was studied using Generalised Additive Models (GAMs). A significant increase in the number of microplastics with increasing length was observed. No significant effect of trophic variables (fullness index and feeding type) on the number and size of microplastics was found.
Ingestion of plastic debris (macro and micro) by longnose lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) in the North Atlantic Ocean
Responsible Partner: IEO Vigo Date: January 2020 Download:Link to publication Description: This study evaluates the ingestion of plastic marine debris (macro and micro plastics) by a piscivorous predator, Alepisaurus ferox Lowe (1833). A total of 27 specimens were captured in 2015 and 2016 in the North Atlantic (around 34º–36º N and 10º–16º W) and their stomachs were dissected and inspected for plastic elements. Macroplastic particles were found in 37% of fish, with an average weight of 0.46 ± 1.14 g with film being the most abundant category (60%). The main polymers characterized were Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE). Microplastics were found in 74% of the stomachs, with item values per individual ranging from 0 to 16, with an average value of 4.7 ± 4.8 items per stomach. Only microfibers and fragments were observed, with microfibers (85 %) being the dominant type.
You Are What You Eat, Microplastics in Porbeagle Sharks From the North East Atlantic: Method Development and Analysis in Spiral Valve Content and Tissue
Responsible Partner: CEFAS Date: Octubre 2020 Download: English Description:This study assesses the impact of microplastics on the general health condition of marine top predators, Porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus) from the North-East Atlantic Ocean.
Hitch-hikers on marine debris: understanding new arrivals in an offshore island
Responsible Partner: ARDITI Date & event: 16th – 18th October 2018, International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions (Patagonia, Argentina) Download:Abstract Description: João Canning-Clode (ARDITI) presented the ARDITI research program to evaluate marine debris as a possible vector for introduction of NIS to Madeira Island (NE Atlantic) by engaging and establishing a cooperation protocol with stakeholders (e.g. fishermen, dive operators and whale and bird watching companies).
Ingestion of plastic debris (Macro and micro) by longnose lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) in the North Atlantic Ocean
Responsible Partner: IEO Vigo Date & event: 19th -23rd November 2018, MICRO 2018, Lanzarote (Spain) Download:Abstract Description: This study evaluates the ingestion of plastic marine debris by Alepisaurus ferox (Longnose lancetfish),with the goal of quantifying the amount and type of debris ingested.