Çandarlı Bay is a marine environment at risk of heavy pollution because of industrial facilities including the only ship recycling zone of Turkey, and intense marine traffic related to the raw materials needs of a dense industrial zone. These risk factors make the development of practical environmental management strategies increasingly necessary. Oil spills from the heavy ship traffic, one of the major risks, can be detected by satellite remote sensing technologies. In this study, it is aimed to show spatial characteristics of oil spills as well as its dynamics in the time domain of the bay. Results from a three year period of the study show that as a main environmental problem, oil pollution has a relatively high percentage of spatial distribution in the bay. It is therefore concluded that regular monitoring of the intense oil pollution in the bay is required with an agile and low-cost method of satellite monitoring to intervene in good time and to minimize its impacts. The study provided an extensive understanding of spatio-temporal dynamics of oil pollution in the bay. The approach used will also provide a baseline for decision-makers to develop environmental management plans for other coastal zones with similar sensitivities.
Pollution and Marine Debris
Lead concentrations in long-lived Corallium species of known age, from the Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, were determined by laser ablation, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LA-ICPMS). Lead concentrations in a 2000-year-old sub-fossil Mediterranean C. rubrum are ca 0.09 ± 0.03 μg/g. For the period 1894–1955, lead concentrations in C. rubrum skeletons from the Mediterranean are stable within the range 0.2–0.4 μg/g; concentrations increase to about 1–1.2 μg/g during the period 1960–1978, then decrease progressively to stabilize and reach values in the range 0.2–0.4 μg/g in present-day corals. These variations can be related to the lead gasoline pollution event that (1) started in the early 1950s with the increase of the numbers of cars in the world, and (2) was mitigated by the implementation of new regulations starting in 1975, leading to a return to pre-1950 levels in 2000. In the Pacific, lead concentrations in C. japonicum and C. konojoi are lower than in the Mediterranean C. rubrum, with values close to 0.17 ± 0.03 μg/g. The lowest lead concentrations in present-day samples (0.11 μg/g) are found in C. johnsoni and C. niobe from the Azores islands in the Atlantic, and in a Mediterranean C. rubrum from Montecristo Island, one of the least accessible and most protected areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Using lead concentrations in C. rubrum and in the Mediterranean seawaters, a partition coefficient Kd = [Pb/Ca]calcite / [Pb/Ca]seawater of 13 ±3 is estimated; it allows calculating past and present lead contents in seawater in which corals grew. Application to Coralliumspecies indicates that values endangering human health or threatening the preservation of aquatic ecosystem on long terms were nearly reached or exceeded in Mediterranean seawaters at the maximum of the lead gasoline pollution event in the 1980s. Measurements in C. rubrum from different places in the Mediterranean indicate that present-day seawater concentrations vary between 40 and 200 pmol/kg. As expected, the lowest concentrations come from protected areas insulated from human activities, while the highest come from places close to lead mining or processing sites.
Contaminants in the marine environment are widespread, but ship-based sampling routines are much narrower. We evaluated the utility of seabirds, highly-mobile marine predators, as broad samplers of contaminants throughout three tropical ocean regions. Our aim was to fill a knowledge gap in the distributions of, and processes that contribute to, tropical marine contaminants; and explore how species-specific foraging ecologies could inform or bias our understanding of contaminant distributions. Mercury and persistent organic pollutant (POPs) concentrations were measured in adults of five seabird species from four colonies in the central Pacific (Laysan and Tern Islands, Hawaii; Palmyra Atoll) and the eastern Caribbean (Barbuda). Blood-based total mercury (THg) and 89 POPs were measured in two seabird families: surface-foraging frigatebirds (Fregataspp.) and plunge-diving boobies (Sula spp.). Overall, largescale contaminant differences between colonies were more informative of contaminant distributions than inter-specific foraging ecology. Model selection results indicated that proximity to human populations was the best predictor of THg and POPs. Regional differences in contaminants were distinct: Barbudan Magnificent Frigatebirds had more compounds (n = 52/89 POP detected) and higher concentrations (geometric mean THg = 0.97 μg g−1; mean ΣPOP53 = 26.6 ng mL−1) than the remote colonies (34–42/89 POP detected; range of THg geometric means = 0.33–0.93 μg g−1; range of mean ΣPOP53:7.3–17.0 ng mL−1) and had the most recently-synthesized POPs. Moderate differences in foraging ecologies were somewhat informative of inter-specific differences in contaminant types and concentrations between nearshore and offshore foragers. Across species, contaminant concentrations were higher in frigatebirds (THg = 0.87 μg g−1; ΣPOP53 = 17.5 ng mL−1) compared to boobies (THg = 0.48 μg g−1; ΣPOP53 = 9.8). Ocean currents and contaminants' physiochemical properties provided additional insight into the scales of spatial and temporal contaminant exposure. Seabirds are excellent, broad samplers with which we can understand contaminant distributions in the marine environment. This is especially important for tropical remote regions that are under-sampled.
This study investigated the role of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent and an abandoned coastal landfill as pathways for microplastics (MPs) input into the marine environment. MPs were first analyzed in raw sewage influent, sludge and effluent samples, and their fate was studied along a distance gradient from the WWTP in three matrices: surface water, sediments and wild mussels. All suspected MPs were characterized according to their polymer nature using micro-Raman spectroscopy. The investigated WWTP had an estimated daily discharge of 227 million MPs. MPs were found in all matrices with a decreasing abundance from the effluent. Strong MPs abundances (higher than those found near the WWTP effluent) were observed in the vicinity of the coastal landfill suggesting its importance as a MPs entry route into the marine coastal environment. Our study supports the idea that blue mussels are a promising sentinel species for MPs (<200 μm).
Phosphate mining activities on Christmas Island began in the late 1800's providing a unique, long-term case study in which to assess the impacts of mining on coral reef development. Watershed modelling was used to identify potential “hotspots” of mining runoff on to adjacent reefs. Pollution hotspots were also confirmed by analysis of reef sediment. Phosphate rich mining runoff flowed from local watersheds onto nearshore coral reefs with levels of up to 54,000 mg/kg of total phosphate recorded in reef sediment at the Dryers reef site adjacent to the main phosphate storage facility. Using this combination of watershed modelling and in-situ sediment contamination data we identified six coral reef sites along an environmental impact gradient. In-situ benthic transects were paired with a new rubble-encruster method enabling the analysis to combine large scale transect information alongside fine-scale data on epibenthic and encruster assemblages. Results demonstrate that phosphate rich sediment loading negatively impacted coral reef building communities, in particular, branching corals and calcareous encrusting organisms, critical to the future survival of coral reef ecosystems. These findings highlight the importance of curtailing runoff and pollution from catchment based mining activities and protecting reefs for the future.
Marine plastic pollution is heavily driven by escaped plastic waste from land. Effectively reducing flows of plastic pollution into the oceans requires incentivizing efficient disposal decisions, discouraging production and consumption of products with low recyclability and reuse potential, and encouraging lower-impact, easily recyclable product and packaging designs. We examine the economic literature on waste management and integrated environmental policy to assess how particular policies target these individual pathways and can efficiently reduce flows of plastics into waterways. These policies include production/retail bans and standards, extended producer responsibility, price-based policies such as advance disposal fees and two-part instruments, and interventions grounded in behavioral economics and psychology. We also consider the applicability of these policies in coastal developing nations that often rely upon the informal sector for waste management services. We conclude by identifying important issues for future research.
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill may be indicative of future large, deep spills that may occur in the coming decades. Given that future deepwater spills are possible, critical considerations include (1) establishing baselines for oceanic marine mammal and populations in at-risk areas, (2) understanding the implications of response choices for oceanic marine mammals, (3) designing studies with adequate coverage for post-spill monitoring, and (4) identifying effective strategies for oceanic marine mammal restoration. In this chapter, we consider these four stages in the context of a series of hypothetical oil spill scenarios, identifying ways that lessons learned from the DWH oil spill and prior events can be applied to future disasters.
The rapid environmental changes in Australia prompt a more thorough investigation of the influence of transportation, local emissions, and optical–chemical properties on aerosol production across the region. A month-long intensive measurement campaign was conducted during spring 2016 at Mission Beach, a remote coastal site west of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) on the north-east coast of Australia. One aerosol pollution episode was investigated in early October. This event was governed by meteorological conditions and characterized by the increase in black carbon (BC) mass concentration (averaged value of 0.35 ± 0.20 μg m−3). Under the influence of the continental transportation, a new layer of nucleation-mode aerosols with an initial size diameter of 20 nm was observed and aerosol number concentrations reached the peak of 6733 cm−3 at a diameter of 29 nm. The averaged aerosol extinction coefficient at the height of 2 km was 150 Mm−1, with a small depolarized ratio (3.5–5%). Simultaneously, the boundary layer height presented a fall–rise trend in the presence of these enhanced aerosol concentrations and became stable in a later stage of the episode. We did not observe clear boundary layer height diurnal variations from the LiDAR observations or from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model outputs, except in an earlier stage of the aerosol episode for the former. Although the sea breeze may have been responsible for these particles, on the balance of available data, we suggest that the aerosol properties at the GBR surface during this period are more likely influenced by regional transportation of continental sources, including biomass-burning aerosols.
We present a study of small microplastic particles (S-MPPs) in the sediments of mangrove ecosystem of Khor-e- Khoran, a Ramsar site in Iran. The spatial distribution of S-MPPs (<1 mm) in mangrove surface sediments were investigated, which provided new insights into the detection and composition of S-MPPs in the study area. S-MPPs were extracted via the air-induced overflow (AIO) extraction procedure, and then they were counted and categorized according to the particle shape, color and size. The mean number of S-MPPs at the five sampling sites ranged from 19.5 to 34.5 particles per kg dry sediment in Bandar Gelkan and Bandar Lengeh, respectively. In general, microfibres followed by fragments were the most common type of S-MPPs isolated in each site (>56% and ~35%, respectively). Sewage discharge is probably the main source of extracted fibres in almost all the sites. The observed S-MPPs were classified into two size groups (10–300 μm and 300–1000 μm). The majority of S-MPPs fell into the smallest size group which accounted for 70–97% of the total S-MPPs. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis of some subsamples showed that polyethylene (PE) was the most common recovered polymer. Some non-plastic particles were also isolated from plastic-like particles of suspected S-MPPs in the mangrove sediments using a Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM). This study provided the first evidence of S-MPPs contamination in the mangroves of the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf. Long-term studies are required to understand, monitor and prevent further microplastics pollution in the region.
Plastic pollution is an omnipresent problem that threatens marine animals through ingestion and entanglement. Marine mammals are no exception to this rule but their interaction with plastic remains understudied in the Mediterranean Sea. Here we highlight this problem by analyzing the stomach contents of 34 individuals from seven odontocete species stranded in Greece. Macroplastic (>5 mm) were found in the stomachs of nine individuals from four species (harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus, Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostrisand sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus) with the highest frequency of occurrence in sperm whales (60%). Gastric blockage from plastic was presumably lethal in three cases, with plastic bags being the most common finding (46%). Plastic ingestion is of particular conservation concern for the endangered Mediterranean sperm whales. A regular examination of stranded cetaceans with a standardised protocol is critical for allowing spatiotemporal comparisons within and across species.