Main content area

Microplastic pollution at the intersection of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas: A study of the Datça Peninsula (Turkey)

Yabanli, Murat, Yozukmaz, Aykut, Şener, İdris, Ölmez, Özge Tokul
Marine pollution bulletin 2019
beaches, cities, coasts, marine resources, microplastics, summer, water pollution, wind, Turkey (country)
This study aims to reveal microplastic pollution. It is the first to be conducted in the South Aegean Region and one of the limited numbers of such studies in Turkey. To this aim, in September 2018 microplastic particles (MP's) pollution was evaluated on the sandy beaches along the coastline of the Datça Peninsula (Southern Aegean coast of Turkey) located at the intersection of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. MP's were analyzed using standard operating procedure along with some experimental techniques. Prior to the identification process, microplastics ranging from 1 to 5 mm were exposed to an experimental pre-treatment and efficient polymer scanning. The results showed that fragments (72%) were the dominant category from all the beaches exposed to dominant winds and surface currents and that MP contamination in the Datça Peninsula was higher than that reported in the literature from similar locations around the world (1154.4 ± 700.3 particles kg−1 dw). More specifically the highest contamination was found in Aktur Beach (2073.3 ± 648.6 particles kg−1 dw) which could be considered as a hotspot for the whole region in terms of MP pollution. As a result of the study, as sampling stations are remote from major cities and industrial zones, maritime activities increase during summer season and tar has been observed on particles during analyses, it can be asserted that the pollution may be caused by marine resources.