Plastic marine debris pollution affects all the oceans, and has short, medium and long term consequences for organisms living in these environments. Plastics, especially microplastics represent a threat to wildlife due to particle uptake by ingestion while larger plastic pieces entangle and suffocate animals. Since 2008, we are studying plastic debris stranded on the beaches in mainland Portugal, analyzing the types of plastic and their distribution, and more recently verifying the presence of microplastics in plankton samples and the degradation of such materials in the coastal environment. So far our results show that plastics are capable of adsorbing persistent organic pollutants (POP) which may be harmful for the marine environment and aquatic and terrestrial organisms that feed in nearby beaches. Research in this field is necessary, so that we can have a representative picture of the current situation of plastic marine debris in the coast of Portugal.
|Journal||Journal of Integrated Coastal Zone Management|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|