Oil is a main driver for the growth of modern economies because of its multifaceted use in transport, energy and manufacturing. Due to uneven distribution of petroleum products across the world, maritime transportation of mineral oils has increased. The main objective of the paper is to examine data on oil spills created by oil tankers for the past 50 years and to examine trends in oil trading and oil spill pollution in an effort to analyse the state of pollution in major oil disasters. The paper also considers the key factors of tanker oil spills and summarizes strategies and directions for the global maritime transport industry to prevent oil tanker pollution in the future.
Pollution and Marine Debris
The extent to which small plastics and potentially associated compounds are entering coastal food webs, especially in estuarine systems, is only beginning to be realized. This study examined an estuarine reach at the mouth of urbanized Chollas Creek in San Diego, California to determine: 1) the extent and magnitude of microplastics pollution in estuarine sediments and fish, 2) the extent and magnitude of SVOC contamination in estuarine fish, and 3) whether fish preferentially ingested certain types of microplastics, when compared with the microplastic composition of creekbed sediments. Surface sediments (0–5 cm depth) contained about 10,000 small plastic pieces per m2, consisting mostly (90%) of fibers, and hard and soft pieces. Nearly 25% of fish contained small plastics, but prevalence varied with size and between species. Of the 25 types of small plastics found in sediment, fish preferred about 10 types (distinct colors and forms). Several SVOCs, both water soluble and sediment-associated compounds, were found in the two species of fish tested. This study revealed that a species’ natural history may influence contamination levels, and warrants further study to better understand the pathways of plastics and associated contaminants into and throughout coastal food webs, and the potential health risks for small and/or low-trophic level organisms.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of 209 persistent and bio-accumulative toxic pollutants present as complex mixtures in human and animal tissues. Harbor porpoises accumulate some of the highest levels of PCBs because they are long-lived mammals that feed at a high trophic level. Studies typically use the sum of a suite of individual chlorobiphenyl congeners (CBs) to investigate PCBs in wildlife. However, toxic effects and thresholds of CB congeners differ, therefore population health risks of exposure may be under or over-estimated dependent on the congener profiles present. In this study, we found congener profiles varied with age, sex and location, particularly between adult females and juveniles. We found that adult females had the highest proportions of octa-chlorinated congeners whilst juveniles had the highest proportions of tri- and tetra-chlorinated congeners. This is likely to be a consequence of pollutant offloading between mothers and calves during lactation. Analysis of the individual congener toxicities found that juveniles were exposed to a more neurotoxic CB mixture at a time when they were most vulnerable to its effects. These findings are an important contribution towards our understanding of variation in congener profiles and the potential effects and threats of PCB exposure in cetaceans.
Substantial perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) production still occurs in China, and the consumption of aquatic products is a critical exposure pathway of PFAAs in humans. In this study, specimens of 16 freshwater and 40 marine species were collected in the river-estuary-sea environment affected by a mega fluorochemical industry park in China in 2015, and the edible tissues of these organisms were analyzed for PFAA levels. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the dominating contaminant with an overall contribution of more than 90%, and concentrations as high as 2161 ng/g wet weight (measured in the freshwater winkle). All species with the greatest PFOA levels were benthic. The trophic magnification factor (TMF) of PFOA was 1.10 for freshwater species and 1.28 for marine species, indicating that PFOA was slightly magnifying. Analysis of carbon source indicated that freshwater species were more benthic feeding, while marine species were more pelagic feeding. Aquatic food consumption screening values of PFOA were modified according to estimated daily intake (EDI) values, which generated recommendations for limited meal categories and the do-not-eat category. Thus, this study provides recommendations for mitigating the health risks of PFAA-contaminated aquatic food, ranging from food selection to consumption frequency and proper food processing.
This study focused on the distribution, combined pollution, potential source and risk assessment of 17 antibiotics in an aquaculture ecosystem surrounding the Yellow sea, North China. Antibiotics were detected in various matrices (seawater, sediment/biofilm, organism and feed) in different aquaculture modes (greenhouse and outdoor aquaculture) during the wet and dry seasons in coastal areas of Shandong province. The innovation points of the study were as follows: (1) To the best of our knowledge, this study was one of the few to investigate the occurrence and distribution of antibiotics in mariculture environments along the Yellow Sea coast; (2) Biofilms, a focus of the study, might act as a sink for antibiotics in the aquaculture ecosystem; and (3) The correlation of heavy metals and antibiotic concentrations was proved, which could correspondingly be used as an indicator for antibiotic concentrations in the studied area.
The levels of antibiotics in water were observed to be relatively low, at the ng/L level. Trimethoprim was the most prevalent antibiotic, and was detected in all water samples. Oxytetracycline was detected at high concentrations in biofilms (up to 1478.29 ng/g). Moreover, biofilms exhibited a higher antibiotic accumulation capacity compared to sediments. Concentrations of oxytetracycline and doxycycline were high in feed, while other antibiotics were almost undetected. Tetracycline was widely detected and the concentration of enrofloxacin was highest in organisms.
Correlation analysis demonstrated that environmental parameters and other coexisting contaminants (e.g. heavy metals) significantly affected antibiotic concentrations. In addition, the concentration of Zn was significantly correlated with the total antibiotic concentration and was proportional to several antibiotics in water and sediment (biofilm) samples (p < 0.01). High Mn concentrations were closely related to total and individual (e.g. sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine and enrofloxacin) antibiotic levels, which may result in the combined contamination of the environment. Antibiotics in estuaries and groundwater generally originated from aquaculture wastewater and untreated/treated domestic sewage. Most of the detected antibiotics posed no risk to the environment. Ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin found in water may present high ecological and resistance risks, while the two antibiotics observed to accumulate in fish may pose a considerable risk to human health through diet consumption. All antibiotics detected in seafood were lower than the respective maximum residue limits. This study can act as a reference for the government for the determination of antibiotic discharge standards in aquaculture wastewater and the establishment of a standardized antibiotic monitoring and management system.
Marine litter is a major global challenge, even in the remote reaches of the Arctic. Monitoring temporal trends in litter loadings and composition is key to designing effective preventative and mitigative measures, and to assess their impact. Few data are available, however, by which to do this in the Arctic region. Citizen science data organised by the local waste management company in the Lofoten archipelago in the Norwegian Sea is an exception to this. We analysed volunteer cleanup data (total weight and counts of select litter types, standardised to density per 100 m) from over 200 locations from 2011 to 2018. Results indicate a general decline in beach litter in the region, and particularly in litter types related to private use, such as beverage bottles. These declines are most likely the combined result of extensive cleanup activities and a considerable reduction in local litter inputs.
The ingestion of microplastics has been recorded in hundreds of species. The ingestion rate and degree of impact is species-specific and depends on food preferences, foraging behaviour, and plastic pollution of the area. Currently there is a large knowledge gap regarding ingestion of marine litter by invertebrates in brackish water bodies. Therefore, experiments were conducted to investigate microplastics uptake and potential accumulation in the digestive system of the Harris mud crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii. Effects of microplastics on the growth of crabs were also tested. The results show that R. harrisii consume microplastics together with food, only plastic fragments too large for the digestion system were removed by crabs. The effect and duration of passage of plastic are not consistent and depend on the size and type of plastic. Microplastic fragments (<0.25 mm) ingested by crab were continuously egested while knotted fibres may accumulate in the stomach. The crabs fed with plastic supplements lost weight or had lower weight increase compared to control group after two-month treatment. However, the differences between treatments were not statistically significant. For the first time, occurrence of plastic in the digestive system of crabs collected from the natural habitats of Pärnu Bay (NE Baltic Sea, Estonia) was studied. Among all the crabs examined, 5% of specimens were found with fibres in their stomach assimilated prior to their capture from nature.
Seabed litter of the Flemish Pass area (NW Atlantic Ocean) was analysed and described using data from the EU-Spain groundfish survey (2006-2017 period). This study presents baseline information on seabed litter in this area. The Flemish Pass is located in areas beyond national jurisdiction within the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area Division 3L. A total of 1169 valid bottom trawl hauls were analysed (104-1478 m depth). Litter was found in 8.3% of the hauls, with mean densities of 1.4±0.2 items km–2 and 10.6±5.2 kg km–2. An increasing pattern with depth was found, the highest densities of seabed litter being identified in the deepest areas located in the Flemish Pass channel and down the northeastern flank of the Grand Bank. Fishing was found to be the main source of marine litter, and 61.9% of the hauls with litter presence showed litter included in the fisheries-related litter category. Whereas in most cases the litter was composed of small fragments of rope, in other cases it was composed of entire fishing gears such as traps. Plastics, metal and other anthropogenic litter were the next most abundant categories, accounting for 18.6%, 16.5% and 12.4% of the total, respectively.
The distribution and accumulation of floating marine debris in the Black Sea during the last few decades are analysed by the help of numerical modelling. An approach based on a mesoscale circulation model combined with a particle tracking model is applied. It is established that the litter distribution is nearly independent of the source location and is mainly controlled by the basin circulation system. The western gyre predominantly accumulates floating debris in summer. After the integration of the main cyclonic current in winter, the debris in the inner basin moves east. Retention zones along the south-western coast persist in time. The mean particle stranding time is estimated at about 200 days. Accumulation zones along the south-eastern and eastern coast are abundant in summer, and then move further northeast and north. Simulations demonstrate an increasing litter accumulation in summer on the North Western Shelf and shelf break.
Marine debris is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Debris problem in coastal areas becomes an urgent issue and concerns many countries across the world particularly marine countries such as Indonesia. The research objective was to examine the people's perception towards marine litter in Aceh Jaya Regency about whom responsible for eradicating marine debris. The study was conducted from January to July 2019 by distributing a questionnaire to 382 respondents. The result showed that 46.9% of respondents thought that they were responsible for reducing marine litter. In a similar case, researchers found 53.4% of respondents stated that those who were able to reduce marine waste were community/visitors. The final finding is that 42.1% of the sample shows that NGOs are the parties who are eager to reduce marine litter.