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Assessing plastic size distribution and quantity on a remote island in the South Pacific

Citation

Nichols, EC and Lavers, JL and Archer-Rand, S and Bond, AL, Assessing plastic size distribution and quantity on a remote island in the South Pacific, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 167 Article 112366. ISSN 0025-326X (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112366

Abstract

Plastics are an environmental threat; however, their fate once in the pelagic environment is poorly known. We compare results from assessments of floating plastics in the South Pacific Ocean with accumulated beach plastics from Henderson Island. We also compare accumulated plastic mass on Henderson during 2015 and 2019 and investigate the presence of nanoplastics. There were differences between the size classes of beach and pelagic plastics, and an increase in microplastics (0.335 mm) on the beach between 2015 and 2019. Micro- and nanoplastics were found at all sites (mean SE: 1960 356 pieces/kg dw). Across the whole beach this translates to >4 billion plastic particles in the upper 5 cm. This is concerning, particularly given Henderson is uninhabited and distant from urban centres (~2350 km from Pape'ete, French Polynesia). The vast number of small particles on Henderson may make nearshore filter feeders susceptible to ingestion and subsequent detrimental impacts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, remote island, microplastic, nanoplastic, beach survey
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments
UTAS Author:Nichols, EC (Ms Emma Nichols)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:Bond, AL (Dr Alexander Bond)
ID Code:144063
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-04-17
Last Modified:2021-10-13
Downloads:0

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