A comparison of sampling methods for seawater microplastics and a first report of the microplastic litter in coastal waters of Ascension and Falkland Islands

Green, Dannielle S. and Kregting, Louise and Boots, Bas and Blockley, David and Brickle, Paul and Da Costa, Marushka and Crowley, Quentin (2018) A comparison of sampling methods for seawater microplastics and a first report of the microplastic litter in coastal waters of Ascension and Falkland Islands. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 137. pp. 695-701. ISSN 1879-3363

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.11.004

Abstract

To date there is no gold standard for sampling microplastics. Zooplankton sampling methods, such as plankton and Neuston nets, are commonly used to estimate the concentrations of microplastics in seawater, but their ability to detect microplastics is limited by their mesh size. We compared different net-based sampling methods with different mesh sizes including bongo nets (>500µm), manta nets (>300µm) and plankton nets (>200µm and >400µm) to 1 litre bottle grabbed, filtered (0.45µm) samples. Concentrations of microplastics estimated using net-based methods were ~3 orders of magnitude less than those estimated by 1 litre grab samples. Some parts of the world with low human populations, such as Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands, lack baseline data on microplastics. Using the bottle grab sampling method we found that microplastic litter was present at these remote locations and was comparable to levels of contamination in more populated coastal regions, such as the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Grab samples, Nets, Anthropogenic litter, Remote, Atlantic Ocean, Microfibres
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Dr Dannielle S Green
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2018 14:27
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2019 09:43
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/703831

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