Now, you see me: High concentrations of floating plastic debris in the coastal waters of the Balearic Islands (Spain)

Luis F. Ruiz-Orejón, Rafael Sardá, Juan Ramis-Pujol

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coastal ecosystems are under significant human pressure, partly due to the proximity of pollution sources. In this study, a total of 20 samples were taken in summer around the coastal waters of the Balearic Islands (Spain) using a manta trawl net to examine the concentrations of floating plastic debris through the NIXE III project campaign. Although plastic concentrations showed high variability along the coast, the higher particle concentration (max: 4,576,115 items ⋅ km−2) and weight (max: 8,102.94 g(DW) ⋅ km−2) values were located at the north of the Balearic Promontory. The particle size analysis showed the high prevalence of microplastics (< 5 mm) in these waters, where particles of approximately 0.7 mm and 1 mm2 were the most frequent in the range analyzed. The high plastic concentration values in the N-NW coast of Ibiza and Mallorca in sparsely populated locations suggest that the plastic particle distribution was mostly conditioned by the hydrodynamic surface conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-646
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume133
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Balearic Islands
  • Floating plastics
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Microplastics
  • Plastic pollution

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