24 Mar 2022
CLAIM research topic: CLAIM researchers quantify transboundary plastic pollution in marine protected areas
A recently published article in the research collection of CLAIM in Frontiers in Marine Science journal aims to quantify the transboundary plastic pollution in marine protected areas across the Mediterranean sea, because plastic pollution, both micro and macro, is posing an increasing threat to marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and, as a result, human health.
The CLAIM researchers and authors of the article, Yannis Hatzonikolakis, Sylvaine Giakoumi, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Kostas Tsiaras, Sofia Kalaroni, George Triantaphyllidis and George Triantafyllou, use Lagrangian plastic drift model, taking into account various sizes/types of plastic litter, originating from major land-based sources (coastal cities and rivers). They do that to predict accumulation zones in protected areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Lagrangian plastic drift model, the size of plastic litters has a significant effect in their dispersion and final destination. For example, larger litter travels longer distances. The majority of the Mediterranean countries investigated (13 out of 15) had at least one national MPA, with over 55% of macroplastics coming from outside their boundaries. Therefore, local efforts to decrease plastic pollution in protected areas, particularly for macroplastics management, would be insufficient in many circumstances.
The researchers conclude that transboundary cooperation among Mediterranean countries is essential for implementing successful plastic pollution management programs in their territorial waters, particularly in marine protected areas.
You can read the full article here.
This article is part of the research topic “Cleaning Litter by Developing and Applying Innovative Methods in European Seas” published in Frontiers of Marine Science.