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Microplastics in marine sediments near Rothera Research Station, Antarctica

Reed, Sarah; Clark, Marlon; Thompson, Richard; Hughes, Kevin A.. 2018 Microplastics in marine sediments near Rothera Research Station, Antarctica. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 133. 460-463. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.05.068

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Abstract/Summary

Antarctica and surrounding waters are often considered pristine, but may be subject to local pollution from tourism, fishing and governmental research programme activities. In particular, the quantification of microplastic pollution within the Antarctic Treaty area (south of latitude 60°S) has received little attention. We examined microplastic particle concentrations in sediment samples from 20 locations up to 7 km from Rothera Research Station. The highest concentrations of microplastic (<5 particles 10 ml−1) were recorded in sediment collected near the station sewage treatment plant outfall. The concentrations were similar to levels recorded in shallow and deep sea marine sediments outside Antarctica. The detected microplastics had characteristics similar to those commonly produced by clothes washing. We recommend further research on microplastics around Antarctic stations to inform policy discussions and the development of appropriate management responses.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.05.068
ISSN: 0025-326X
Additional Keywords: microplastics, sediment, Antarctic Peninsula, pollution, Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, human impact
Date made live: 20 Jun 2018 11:07 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518617

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