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What is Marine Debris & Microplastics?

Topic guide about marine debris and microplastics. Guide offers how to find reliable sources.


Microplastic Pollution

Choy et al. 2019. The vertical distribution and biological transport of marine microplastics across the epipelagic and mesopelagic water column. Scientific Reports 9(1) DOI link

Hidalgo-Ruz, V., Gutow, L., Thompson, R. C., and Thiel, M. 2012. Microplastics in the marine environment: A Review of the methods used for identification and quantification. Environmental Science and Technology 46(6):3060-3075. DOI link

Kanhai, L. D. K., Officer, R., Lyashevska, O., Thompson, R. C., and O'Connor, I. 2017. Microplastic abundance, distribution, and composition along a latitudinal gradient in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine Pollution Bulletin 115(1-2):307-314. DOI link

Yu, X., Ladewig, S., Bao, S., Toline, C. A., Whitmire, S., and Chow, A. T. 2018. Occurrence and distribution of microplastics at selected coastal sites along the southeastern United States. Science of the Total Environment 613-614:298-305. DOI link

Alomar, C., Sureda, A., Capo, X., Guijarro, B., Tejada, S., and Deudero, S. 2017. Microplastic ingestion by Mullus surmuletus Linnaeus, 1758 fish and its potential for causing oxidative stress. Environmental Research 159:135-142. DOI link

Cole, M., Lindeque, P., Fileman, E., Halsband, C., Goodhead, R., Moger, J., and Galloway, T.S. 2013. Microplastic ingestion by zooplankton. Environmental Science & Technology 47(12):6646-6655. DOI link

Courtene-Jones, W., Quinn, B., Ewins, C., Gary, S.F., and Narayanaswamy, B.E. 2019. Consistent microplastic ingestion by deep-sea invertebrates over the last four decades (1976-2015), a study from the North East Atlantic. Environmental Pollution 244:503-512. DOI link

Courtene-Jones, W., Quinn, B., Gary S.F., Mogg, A.O.M., and Narayanaswamy, B.E. 2017. Microplastic pollution identified in deep-water and ingested by benthic invertebrates in the Rockall Trough, North Atlantic Ocean. Environment Pollution 231:271-280. DOI link 


Nurdles are very small plastic beads
which are used as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products.


photo credit: Jace Tunnell, NURDLE PATROL

Nurdle Patrol - Training, 101 (Mission-Aransas NERR), Nov 26, 2018

Plastic beads washing on shore: experts say they're small in size, large in impact, KRIS 6 News, Corpus Christi, October 1, 2018.

Plastic pellets now seen on beaches along TX coast, KRIS 6 News, Corpus Christi, October 23, 2018

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