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Marine Pollution Bulletin

Microplastics and Microfibers in Surface Waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California

Kashiwabara, L.M., S.R. Kahane-Rapport, C. King, M. DeVogelaere, J.A. Goldbogen, and M.S. Savoca (February 2021)

Marine Pollution Bulletin 165:112148

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112148


Despite a recent report of high concentrations of microplastics and microfibers in the mesopelagic waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), little is known about these particles in surface waters. From 2017 to 2019, we sampled two nearshore and two offshore locations within MBNMS using a manta trawl and analyzed these samples for microplastics and microfibers. We found an average concentration of 1.32 ± 0.70 (SE) particles per m3. We found the highest concentration of particles closest to shore, and the lowest concentration above the remote Davidson Seamount. Fiber-like debris was more common in offshore, as compared to nearshore, sites. Overall, particles in our samples were primarily buoyant synthetic polymers, including polypropylene and polyethylene. Our results provide baseline data on the degree of microplastic and microfiber pollution in MBNMS surface waters and confirm that this pollution can be found in waters from the surface to at least 1000 m depth.


Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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