Folder Distribution of Marine Litter

Documents

pdf Bergmann, M. and M. Klages (2012). "Increase of litter at the Arctic deep-sea observatory HAUSGARTEN." Marine Pollution Bulletin 64(12): 2734-2741.

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Bergmann-2012-Increase of litter at the Arctic.pdf

Bergmann, M. and M. Klages (2012). "Increase of litter at the Arctic deep-sea observatory HAUSGARTEN." Marine Pollution Bulletin 64(12): 2734-2741.
Although recent research has shown that marine litter has made it even to the remotest parts of our planet, little information is available about temporal trends on the deep ocean floor. To quantify litter on the deep seafloor over time, we analysed images from the HAUSGARTEN observatory (79°N) taken in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011 (2500 m depth). Our results indicate that litter increased from 3635 to 7710 items km−2 between 2002 and 2011 and reached densities similar to those reported from a canyon near the Portuguese capital Lisboa. Plastic constituted the majority of litter (59%) followed by a black fabric (11%) and cardboard/paper (7%). Sixty-seven percent of the litter was entangled or colonised by invertebrates such as sponges (41%) or sea anemones (15%). The changes in litter could be an indirect consequence of the receding sea ice, which opens the Arctic Ocean to the impacts of man’s activities.

pdf Bergmann, M., et al. (2016). "Observations of floating anthropogenic litter in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait, Arctic." Polar Biology 39(3): 553-560.

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Bergmann-2016-Observations of floating anthrop.pdf

Bergmann, M., et al. (2016). "Observations of floating anthropogenic litter in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait, Arctic." Polar Biology 39(3): 553-560.
Although recent reports indicate that anthropogenic waste has made it to the remotest parts of our oceans, there is still only limited information about its spread, especially in polar seas. Here, we present litter densities recorded during ship- and helicopter-based observer surveys in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait (Arctic). Thirty-one items were recorded in total, 23 from helicopter and eight from research vessel transects. Litter quantities ranged between 0 and 0.216 items km−1 with a mean of 0.001 (±SEM 0.005) items km−1. All of the floating objects observed were plastic items. Litter densities were slightly higher in the Fram Strait (0.006 items km−1) compared with the Barents Sea (0.004 items km−1). More litter was recorded during helicopter-based surveys than during ship-based surveys (0.006 and 0.004 items km−1, respectively). When comparing with the few available data with the same unit (items km−1 transect), the densities found herein are slightly higher than those from Antarctica but substantially lower than those from temperate waters. However, since anthropogenic activities in the Fram Strait are expanding because of sea ice shrinkage, and since currents from the North Atlantic carry a continuous supply of litter to the north, this problem is likely to worsen in years to come unless serious mitigating actions are taken to reduce the amounts of litter entering the oceans.

pdf Bergmann, M., et al. (2016). "Vast Quantities of Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice—A Prime Temporary Sink for Plastic Litter and a Medium of Transport." MICRO 2016: Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems: From the Coastline to the Open Sea: 7

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Bergmann-2017-Vast Quantities of Microplastics.pdf

Bergmann, M., et al. (2016). "Vast Quantities of Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice—A Prime Temporary Sink for Plastic Litter and a Medium of Transport." MICRO 2016: Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems: From the Coastline to the Open Sea: 7
Although the Arctic covers 6% of our planet’s surface and plays a key role in the Earth’s climate it remains one of the least explored ecosystems. The global change induced decline of sea ice has led to increasing anthropogenic presence in the Arctic Ocean. Exploitation of its resources is already underway, and Arctic waters are likely important future shipping lanes as indicated by already increasing numbers of fishing vessels, cruise liners and hydrocarbon prospecting in the area over the past decade. Global estimates of plastic entering the oceans currently exceed results based on empirical evidence by up to three orders of magnitude highlighting that we have not yet identified some of the major sinks of plastic in our oceans. Fragmentation into microplastics could explain part of the discrepancy. Indeed, microplastics were identified from numerous marine ecosystems globally, including the Arctic. Here, we analysed horizons of ice cores from the western and eastern Fram Strait by focal plane array based micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to assess if sea ice is a sink of microplastic. Ice cores were taken from land-locked and drifting sea ice to distinguish between local entrainment of microplastics vs long-distance transport. 

pdf Bergmann, M., et al. (2017). "High quantities of microplastic in Arctic deep-sea sediments from the HAUSGARTEN observatory." Environmental science & technology.

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Bergmann-2017-High Quantities of Microplastic.pdf

Bergmann, M., et al. (2017). "High quantities of microplastic in Arctic deep-sea sediments from the HAUSGARTEN observatory." Environmental science & technology.
Although mounting evidence suggests the ubiquity of microplastic in aquatic ecosystems worldwide, our knowledge of its distribution in remote environments such as Polar Regions and the deep sea is scarce. Here, we analyzed nine sediment samples taken at the HAUSGARTEN observatory in the Arctic at 2,340 – 5,570 m depth. Density separation by MicroPlastic Sediment Separator and treatment with Fenton’s reagent enabled analysis via Attenuated Total Reflection FTIR and µFTIR spectroscopy. Our analyses indicate the wide spread of high numbers of microplastics (42 – 6,595 microplastics kg-1). The northernmost stations harbored the highest quantities, indicating sea ice as a transport vehicle. A positive correlation between microplastic abundance and chlorophyll a content suggests vertical export via incorporation in sinking (ice-) algal aggregates. Overall, 18 different polymers were detected. Chlorinated polyethylene accounted for the largest proportion (38 %), followed by polyamide (22 %) and polypropylene (16 %). Almost 80 % of the microplastics were ≤ 25 µm. The microplastic quantities are amongst the highest recorded from benthic sediments, which corroborates the deep sea as a major sink for microplastics and the presence of accumulation areas in this remote part of the world, fed by plastics transported to the North via the Thermohaline Circulation. 

pdf Day, R. H. and D. G. Shaw (1987). "Patterns in the abundance of pelagic plastic and tar in the North Pacific Ocean, 1976–1985." Marine Pollution Bulletin 18(6): 311-316.

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Day-1987-Patterns in the abundance of pelagic.pdf

Day, R. H. and D. G. Shaw (1987). "Patterns in the abundance of pelagic plastic and tar in the North Pacific Ocean, 1976–1985." Marine Pollution Bulletin 18(6): 311-316.
We determined the distribution and abundance of pelagic plastic and tar in the subtropical and subarctic North Pacific and the Bering Sea in June–August 1985 and compared them with similar observations from the same areas in 1976 and 1984. Large (aproximately 2.5 cm diameter or larger) plastic objects were counted from the deck of a ship, and small plastic objects and tarballs were caught with a neuston net. Densities (number items m−2) of large plastic in subtropical waters averaged two times those in subarctic waters and eight times those in the Bering Sea. Concentrations (mg m−2) of small plastic in subtropical waters averaged 26 times those in subarctic waters and 400 times those in the Bering Sea. Concentrations of tar in subtropical waters averaged three times those in subarctic waters; no tar was found in the Bering Sea. Densities of large plastic along 155°W in the Subarctic North Pacific were not significantly different between 1984 and 1985. Concentrations of small plastic increased significantly between 1976 (along 158°W) and 1985 (along 155°W), probably because of escapement into and subsequent accumulation in the oceans. Concentrations of tar decreased, although not significantly, between 1976 and 1985, possibly because of decreased dumping of petroleum compounds at sea. Densities of large plastic were strongly correlated with both densities and concentrations of small plastic, but neither densities nor concentrations of large or small plastic were correlated with densities or concentrations of tar.

pdf Dippo, B. (2012). Microplastics in the coastal environment of West Iceland. Faculty of Business and Science, University of Akureyri: 66.

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Dippo-2012-Microplastics in the coastal enviro.pdf

Dippo, B. (2012). Microplastics in the coastal environment of West Iceland. Faculty of Business and Science, University of Akureyri: 66.
Microplastic particles in the marine environment and the effects on wildlife, human and ecosystem health are just beginning to be understood in a global setting. The presence of microplastics particles in West Iceland are evaluated to determine if there is a detectable gradient of decreasing plastic concentrations with increasing distance from the urban centres around Reykjavik. The study region includes sample sites within urban, semi-rural and coastal settings, with 4 sites at each type of location being sa;pled. Microplasitc particles were found at 3 of the urban sites, 2 of teh semi-rural sites, and not detected in any of the rural locations. It is concludded that a decreasing concentration gradient that is based solely on distance travelled from the urbanized area of Reykjavik does not exist due to patchy distributions that could be the result of strong influcences from ocean currents and offshore activities.

pdf Feder, H. M., et al. (1978). "Man-made debris on the Bering Sea floor." Marine Pollution Bulletin 9(2): 52-53.

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Feder-1978-Man-made debris on the Bering Sea f.pdf

Feder, H. M., et al. (1978). "Man-made debris on the Bering Sea floor." Marine Pollution Bulletin 9(2): 52-53.
Proposed oil development in the Bering Sea has led to intensive biological assessment surveys there. A benthic trawl, used to collect bottom invertebrates and fishes in these surveys also brings up any man-made debris in its path. A description of this debris, its distribution, and frequency of occurrence are given for the southeastern Bering Sea in 1975 and 1976.

pdf June, J. A. (1990). Type, source, and abundance of trawl-caught marine debris off Oregon, in the eastern Bering Sea, and in Norton Sound in 1988. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Marine Debris, NOAA Technical Memo NMFS-SWF-SC-154.

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June-1990-Type, source, and abundance of trawl.PDF

June, J. A. (1990). Type, source, and abundance of trawl-caught marine debris off Oregon, in the eastern Bering Sea, and in Norton Sound in 1988. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Marine Debris, NOAA Technical Memo NMFS-SWF-SC-154.

In 1988, National Marine Fisheries Service scientists collected information on type, source, and abundance of marine debris caught during annual bottom trawl surveys off Oregon, in the eastern Bering Sea, and in Norton Sound. Numbers of indi- vidual debris items caught were tallied by haul. When possible, the nationality of origin was determined. Animals entangled or associated with debris items were noted. Debris items were categorized by material (e.g., plastic, glass) and use (e.g., galley wastes, fishing equipment). Effort in square kilometers trawled was calculated for each haul from distance fished and average net width measurements. Average catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) in numbers of items per square kilometer was calculated for individual debris items, major categories, and total debris by area and for combined areas. 

Of the 696 hauls surveyed, 70 were off Oregon, 541 in the eastern Bering Sea, and 85 in Norton Sound. Marine debris was most abundant off Oregon, occurring in 70% of the hauls and averaging 149.6 items/km2. In the eastern Bering Sea, 23% of the hauls caught marine debris, for an average of 7.5 items/km2. Norton Sound had the least amount of debris. It occurred in 7% of the hauls and averaged 1.9 items/km2. Galley wastes dominated debris in Oregon (64% of the total CPUE) and in the eastern Bering Sea (40% of the total CPUE), followed by engineering/processing wastes. Fishing equipment debris was abundant in the eastern Bering Sea (1.86 items/km2) and off Oregon (1.69 items/km2), but was not found in Norton Sound. Plastic debris was found in all three areas, but was most abundant in the eastern Bering Sea. Debris of foreign origin accounted for 70% of the total CPUE of all debris found in the eastern Bering Sea; however, domestic debris dominated off Oregon (88% of the total CPUE) and in Norton Sound (100% of the total CPUE). 

pdf Lusher, A. L., et al. (2015). "Microplastics in Arctic polar waters: the first reported values of particles in surface and sub-surface samples." Scientific reports 5.

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Lusher-2015-Microplastics in Arctic polar wate.pdf

Lusher, A. L., et al. (2015). "Microplastics in Arctic polar waters: the first reported values of particles in surface and sub-surface samples." Scientific reports 5.

Plastic, as a form of marine litter, is found in varying quantities and sizes around the globe from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Identifying patterns of microplastic distribution will benefit an understanding of the scale of their potential effect on the environment and organisms. As sea ice extent is reducing in the Arctic, heightened shipping and fishing activity may increase marine pollution in the area. Microplastics may enter the region following ocean transport and local input, although baseline contamination measurements are still required. Here we present the first study of microplastics in Arctic waters, south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway. Microplastics were found in surface (top 16 cm) and sub-surface (6 m depth) samples using two independent techniques. Origins and pathways bringing microplastic to the Arctic remain unclear. Particle composition (95% fibres) suggests they may either result from the breakdown of larger items (transported over large distances by prevailing currents, or derived from local vessel activity), or input in sewage and wastewater from coastal areas. Concurrent observations of high zooplankton abundance suggest a high probability for marine biota to encounter microplastics and a potential for trophic interactions. Further research is required to understand the effects of microplastic-biota interaction within this productive environment.

pdf Merrell, T. R. (1980). "Accumulation of plastic litter on beaches of Amchitka Island, Alaska." Marine environmental research 3(3): 171-184.

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Merrell-1980-Accumulation of plastic litter on.pdf

Merrell, T. R. (1980). "Accumulation of plastic litter on beaches of Amchitka Island, Alaska." Marine environmental research 3(3): 171-184.

Between 1972 and 1974 plastic marine litter on ten 1-km beaches at Amchitka Island increased from 2,221 to 5,367 items—a 2·4 x increase in a two-year period. Most litter originated from Japanese and Soviet fishing vessels, but some items were from the Asian coast, at least 1,150 km distant. In 1974 there were 345 kg of common items of plastic litter per kilometre of beach. In 1972, an estimated 1,664 metric tons of plastic litter was lost or dumped from fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean. Stranded plastic litter persists indefinitely but rapidly becomes buried in beach material or is blown inland and covered with vegetation. The most serious environmental impact is probably entanglement of marine mammals and birds in some types of litter. The accelerating accumulation of litter could be reduced through unilateral action by countries that regulate coastal fishing privileges if these countries make litter control a condition for permission to fish.

pdf Pham, C. K., et al. (2014). "Marine litter distribution and density in European seas, from the shelves to deep basins." PloS one 9(4): e95839.

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Pham-2014-Marine litter distribution and densi.pdf

Pham, C. K., et al. (2014). "Marine litter distribution and density in European seas, from the shelves to deep basins." PloS one 9(4): e95839.
Anthropogenic litter is present in all marine habitats, from beaches to the most remote points in the oceans. On the seafloor, marine litter, particularly plastic, can accumulate in high densities with deleterious consequences for its inhabitants. Yet, because of the high cost involved with sampling the seafloor, no large-scale assessment of distribution patterns was available to date. Here, we present data on litter distribution and density collected during 588 video and trawl surveys across 32 sites in European waters. We found litter to be present in the deepest areas and at locations as remote from land as the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The highest litter density occurs in submarine canyons, whilst the lowest density can be found on continental shelves and on ocean ridges. Plastic was the most prevalent litter item found on the seafloor. Litter from fishing activities (derelict fishing lines and nets) was particularly common on seamounts, banks, mounds and ocean ridges. Our results highlight the extent of the problem and the need for action to prevent increasing accumulation of litter in marine environments.

pdf Polasek, L., et al. (2017). "Marine debris in five national parks in Alaska." Marine Pollution Bulletin 117(1): 371-379.

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Polasek-2017-Marine debris in five national pa.pdf

Polasek, L., et al. (2017). "Marine debris in five national parks in Alaska." Marine Pollution Bulletin 117(1): 371-379.

Marine debris is a management issue with ecological and recreational impacts for agencies, especially on remote beaches not accessible by road. This project was implemented to remove and document marine debris from five coastal National Park Service units in Alaska. Approximately 80 km of coastline were cleaned with over 10,000 kg of debris collected. Marine debris was found at all 28 beaches surveyed. Hard plastics were found on every beach and foam was found at every beach except one. Rope/netting was the next most commonly found category, present at 23 beaches. Overall, plastic contributed to 60% of the total weight of debris. Rope/netting (14.6%) was a greater proportion of the weight from all beaches than foam (13.3%). Non-ferrous metal contributed the smallest amount of debris by weight (1.7%). The work forms a reference condition dataset of debris surveyed in the Western Arctic and the Gulf of Alaska within one season.

pdf Tekman, M. B., et al. (2017). "Marine litter on deep Arctic seafloor continues to increase and spreads to the North at the HAUSGARTEN observatory." Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 120: 88-99.

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Tekman-2017-Marine litter on deep Arctic seafl.pdf

Tekman, M. B., et al. (2017). "Marine litter on deep Arctic seafloor continues to increase and spreads to the North at the HAUSGARTEN observatory." Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 120: 88-99.
The increased global production of plastics has been mirrored by greater accumulations of plastic litter in marine environments worldwide. Global plastic litter estimates based on field observations account only for 1% of the total volumes of plastic assumed to enter the marine ecosystem from land, raising again the question ‘Where is all the plastic? ’. Scant information exists on temporal trends on litter transport and litter accumulation on the deep seafloor. Here, we present the results of photographic time-series surveys indicating a strong increase in marine litter over the period of 2002–2014 at two stations of the HAUSGARTEN observatory in the Arctic (2500 m depth).
Plastic accounted for the highest proportion (47%) of litter recorded at HAUSGARTEN for the whole study period. When the most southern station was considered separately, the proportion of plastic items was even higher (65%). Increasing quantities of small plastics raise concerns about fragmentation and future microplastic contamination. Analysis of litter types and sizes indicate temporal and spatial differences in the transport pathways to the deep sea for different categories of litter. Litter densities were positively correlated with the counts of ship entering harbour at Longyearbyen, the number of active fishing vessels and extent of summer sea ice. Sea ice may act as a transport vehicle for entrained litter, being released during periods of melting. The receding sea ice coverage associated with global change has opened hitherto largely inaccessible environments to humans and the impacts of tourism, industrial activities including shipping and fisheries, all of which are potential sources of marine litter.

pdf Woodall, L. C., et al. (2014). "The deep sea is a major sink for microplastic debris." Royal Society Open Science 1(4): 140317.

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Woodall-2014-The deep sea is a major sink for.pdf

Woodall, L. C., et al. (2014). "The deep sea is a major sink for microplastic debris." Royal Society Open Science 1(4): 140317.
Marine debris, mostly consisting of plastic, is a global problem, negatively impacting wildlife, tourism and shipping. However, despite the durability of plastic, and the exponential increase in its production, monitoring data show limited evidence of concomitant increasing concentrations in marine habitats. There appears to be a considerable proportion of the manufactured plastic that is unaccounted for in surveys tracking the fate of environmental plastics. Even the discovery of widespread accumulation of microscopic fragments (microplastics) in oceanic gyres and shallow water sediments is unable to explain the missing fraction. Here, we show that deep-sea sediments are a likely sink for microplastics. Microplastic, in the form of fibres, was up to four orders of magnitude more abundant (per unit volume) in deep-sea sediments from the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean than in contaminated sea-surface waters. Our results show evidence for a large and hitherto unknown repository of microplastics. The dominance of microfibres points to a previously underreported and unsampled plastic fraction. Given the vastness of the deep sea and the prevalence of microplastics at all sites we investigated, the deep-sea floor appears to provide an answer to the question—where is all the plastic?