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Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Ctr Microscopy Characterisat & Anal
dc.contributor Univ Fed Rio Grande
dc.contributor University Of Western Australia
dc.contributor Univ Western Australia
dc.contributor Marine & Atmospher Res
dc.contributor Sch Environm Syst Engn
dc.contributor Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (csiro)
dc.contributor Fundacao Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande
dc.contributor Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul
dc.contributor Commonwealth Sci & Ind Res Org
dc.contributor Wealth Oceans Flagship
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Oceans Inst
dc.contributor Inst Oceanog
dc.contributor.author PATTIARATCHI, CHARITHA
dc.contributor.author REISSER, JULIA
dc.contributor.author SHAW, JEREMY
dc.contributor.author WILCOX, CHRIS
dc.contributor.author HARDESTY, BRITTA DENISE
dc.contributor.author PROIETTI, MAIRA
dc.contributor.author THUMS, MICHELE
dc.date.accessioned 2014-02-19T01:19:39Z
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-21T01:08:24Z
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-21T01:08:24Z
dc.date.accessioned 2018-11-01T03:16:58Z
dc.date.available 2014-02-19T01:19:39Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-21T01:08:24Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-21T01:08:24Z
dc.date.available 2018-11-01T03:16:58Z
dc.date.issued 2013-11-27
dc.identifier.citation Reisser J, Shaw J, Wilcox C, Hardesty BD, Proietti M, Thums M, Pattiaratchi C (2013) Marine plastic pollution in waters around Australia: Characteristics, concentrations, and pathways. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80466 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri http://epubs.aims.gov.au/11068/10221
dc.description.abstract Plastics represent the vast majority of human-made debris present in the oceans. However, their characteristics, accumulation zones, and transport pathways remain poorly assessed. We characterised and estimated the concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia using surface net tows, and inferred their potential pathways using particle-tracking models and real drifter trajectories. The 839 marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (microplastics, median length = 2.8 mm, mean length = 4.9 mm) resulting from the breakdown of larger objects made of polyethylene and polypropylene (e.g. packaging and fishing items). Mean sea surface plastic concentration was 4256.4 pieces km-2, and after incorporating the effect of vertical wind mixing, this value increased to 8966.3 pieces km-2. These plastics appear to be associated with a wide range of ocean currents that connect the sampled sites to their international and domestic sources, including populated areas of Australia's east coast. This study shows that plastic contamination levels in surface waters of Australia are similar to those in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Maine, but considerably lower than those found in the subtropical gyres and Mediterranean Sea. Microplastics such as the ones described here have the potential to affect organisms ranging from megafauna to small fish and zooplankton.
dc.description.sponsorship This project was funded by University of Western Australia (http://www.uwa.edu.au) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research (http://www.csiro.au). It has also been supported by Australia's Marine National Facility, Austral Fisheries, Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO's Flagship postgraduate scholarship (JR), and the Shell social investment program (BDH and CW). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
dc.description.sponsorship This project was funded by University of Western Australia and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research. It has also been supported by Australia's Marine National Facility, Austral Fisheries, Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO's Flagship postgraduate scholarship (JR), and the Shell social investment program (BDH and CW). en_US
dc.description.uri 10.1371/journal.pone.0080466 en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher PLoS en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.rights Attribution 3.0 Australia *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ *
dc.subject Sea
dc.subject North Pacific
dc.subject Microplastics
dc.subject Environment
dc.subject Ingestion
dc.subject Debris
dc.subject Coastal Waters
dc.subject Subtropical Gyre
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Current System
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Accumulation
dc.title Marine Plastic Pollution in Waters around Australia: Characteristics, Concentrations, and Pathways
dc.type journal article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0080466
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000327652100041


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