Alternative configurations of Australian recreational portunid hoop nets were investigated to address debris and selectivity issues. Four treatment nets (all comprising 152-mm polyamide–PA mesh) were assessed that differed in their twine (conventional multifilament vs new multi-monofilament) and fishing configuration (conventional conical vs inverted shapes). The conical multifilament design lost means (± SEs) of 130.6 ± 23.1 and 5.3 ± 1.2 mm of twine 3-h soak− 1 when used to target Scylla serrata and Portunus pelagicus. Inverting this hoop net significantly reduced legal-sized catches (by up to 70%) and with greater twine loss (× 5) when targeting P. pelagicus. Conversely, both multi-monofilament configurations maintained legal catches of S. serrata and P. pelagicus, but lost 78 and 95% less twine than the conical multifilament design. Using multi-monofilament hoop nets could reduce PA debris by thousands of m p.a. in south-eastern Australia, without affecting targeted catches. Further, a lower fishing height of inverted multi-monofilament nets might reduce non-portunid bycatch.
Pollution and Marine Debris
Marine debris' transboundary nature and new strategies to identify sources and sinks in coastal areas were investigated along the Paranaguá estuarine gradient (southern Brazil), through integration of hydrodynamic modelling, ground truthing estimates and regressive vector analysis. The simulated release of virtual particles in different parts of the inner estuary suggests a residence time shorter than 5 days before being exported through the estuary mouth (intermediate compartment) to the open ocean. Stranded litter supported this pathway, with beaches in the internal compartment presenting proportionally more items from domestic sources, while fragmented items with unknown sources were proportionally more abundant in the oceanic beaches. Regressive vector analysis reinforced the inner estuarine origin of the stranded litter in both estuarine and oceanic beaches. These results support the applicability of simple hydrodynamic models to address marine debris' transboundary issues in the land-sea transition zone, thus supporting an ecosystem transboundary (and not territorial) management approach.
Anthropogenic debris results in detrimental interactions with many marine species. Several seabirds include debris items in their nests, which can lead to entanglement of chicks and adults, resulting in injury or death. Anthropogenic debris was found in 4–67% of kelp gull Larus dominicanus nests in seven colonies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Nests contained two types of litter: items included in the nest structure during construction (mainly ropes and straps), and regurgitated items (mainly bags and food wrappers) that probably accumulate primarily during the chick-rearing period. Debris used in nest construction was more likely to injure gulls, and was found mainly at coastal sites where there was little natural vegetation for construction. Distance to the nearest urban waste landfill significantly affected the occurrence of debris items in nests, especially dietary-derived items. The amount of debris in kelp gull nests highlights the need for improved debris management in South Africa.
In this study, spatiotemporal dynamics of macrofaunal assemblages and their associations with environmental conditions were examined in Jinhae Bay (10 sites), where the obvious sources of pollution including industries, oyster farms (hanging cultures), and municipal discharges has surrounded. The survey had performed over five consecutive seasons in 2013–2014. Target sedimentary variables included grain size, organic content, C/N ratio, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios, and some heavy metals. Five ecological quality indices (EcoQ) were calculated from the benthic community data to evaluate ecological qualities in site-specific manner. Jinhae Bay is a shallow (depths range, 11–24 m) and typical semi-enclosed bay. The benthic environments represented mud dominated bottoms (>70%) with fairly substantial organic content levels (>2%) over all five seasons. Seasonal patterns were observed with peak abundances in the spring and distinctive macrozoobenthos species shifts in the summer. The spring bloom could be explained by drastic increases of some polychaetes, mainly Capitella sp., at certain site, particularly near the shore. The oyster farms situated in the innermost locations seem to provide organic-rich bottoms being dominated by opportunistic species and/or organic pollution indicator species, such as Lumbrineris longifolia, Capitella sp., and Paraprionospio patiens. In general, the EcoQ indicators indicated that Jinhae Bay was moderately polluted, with exceptionally poor EcoQ in a few locations during the specific season(s). Overall, adverse effects on benthic community was broadly attributable to contaminations of heavy metals and nearby aquatic farm activities in Jinhae Bay, which requires a prompt action toward ecosystem-based management practice in the given area.
Marine litter is a global concern with a range of problems associated to it, as recognised by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Marine litter can impact organisms at different levels of biological organization and habitats in a number of ways namely: through entanglement in, or ingestion of, litter items by individuals, resulting in death and/or severe suffering; through chemical and microbial transfer; as a vector for transport of biota and by altering or modifying assemblages of species. Marine litter is a threat not only to marine species and ecosystems but also carries a risk to human health and has significant implications to human welfare, impacting negatively vital economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries, aquaculture or energy supply and bringing economic losses to individuals, enterprises and communities. This technical report aims to provide clear insight about the major negative impacts from marine litter by describing the mechanisms of harm. Further it provides reflexions about the evidence for harm from marine litter to biota comprising the underlying aspect of animal welfare while also considering the socioeconomic effects, including the influence of marine litter on ecosystem services. General conclusions highlight that understanding the risks and uncertainties with regard to the harm caused by marine litter is closely associated with the precautionary principle. The collected evidence in this report can be regarded as a supporting step to define harm and to provide an evidence base for the various actions needed to be implemented by decision-makers. This improved knowledge about the scale of the harmful effects of marine litter will further support EU Member States (MSs) and Regional Seas Conventions (RSCs) to implement their programme of measures, regional action plans and assessments.
Currently little is known about the prevalence of plastics and microplastics (MPs) in the Persian Gulf. Five sampling stations were selected along the Strait of Hormuz (Iran) that exhibited different levels of industrialization and urbanization, and included a marine protected area. Debris was observed and sediments were collected for MPs extraction via fluidization/floatation methodology. The order of MP abundance (par/kg) generally reflected the level of anthropogenic activity: Bostanu (1258 ± 291) > Gorsozan (122 ± 23) > Khor-e-Yekshabeh (26 ± 6) > Suru (14 ± 4) > Khor-e-Azini (2 ± 1). Across all sites fibers dominated (83%, 11% film, 6% fragments). FT-IR analysis showed polyethylene (PE), nylon, and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) were the commonly recovered polymers. Likely sources include beach debris, discarded fishing gear, and urban and industrial outflows that contain fibers from clothes. This study provides a ‘snapshot’ of MP pollution and longitudinal studies are required to fully understand plastic contamination in the region.
Little information is available about the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of antibiotics in marine food webs. Here, we investigate the levels and trophic transfer of 9 sulfonamide (SA), 5 fluoroquinolone (FQ), and 4 macrolide (ML) antibiotics, as well as trimethoprim in nine invertebrate and ten fish species collected from a marine food web in Laizhou Bay, North China in 2014 and 2015. All the antibiotics were detected in the marine organisms, with SAs and FQs being the most abundant antibiotics. Benthic fish accumulated more SAs than invertebrates and pelagic fish, while invertebrates exhibited higher FQ levels than fish. Generally, SAs and trimethoprim biomagnified in the food web, while the FQs and MLs were biodiluted. Trophic magnification factors (TMF) were 1.2–3.9 for SAs and trimethoprim, 0.3–1.0 for FQs and MLs. Limited biotransformation and relatively high assimilation efficiencies are the likely reasons for the biomagnification of SAs. The pH dependent distribution coefficients (log D) but not the lipophilicity (log KOW) of SAs and FQs had a significant correlation (r = 0.73; p < 0.05) with their TMFs. Although the calculated estimated daily intakes (EDI) for antibiotics suggest that consumption of seafood from Laizhou Bay is not associated with significant human health risks, this study provides important insights into the guidance of risk management of antibiotics.
This study provides toxicity values for early life stages (ELS) of two phylogenetically distinct marine animal taxa, the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), a deuterostome invertebrate, and the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), a vertebrate (teleost), when challenged by six hazardous and noxious substances (HNS): aniline, butyl acrylate, m-cresol, cyclohexylbenzene, hexane and trichloroethylene. The aim of the study was to provide preliminary information on toxic effects of representative and relevant priority HNS to assess the risk posed by spills to marine habitats and therefore improve preparedness and the response at the operational level. Selection criteria to include each compound in the study were (1) inclusion in the HASREP (2005) list; (2) presence on the priority list established by Neuparth et al. (2011); (3) paucity of toxicological data (TOXnet and ECOTOX) for marine organisms; (4) behaviour in the water according to the categories defined by the European Behaviour classification system (GESAMP 2002), by selecting compounds with different behaviours in water; and (5) physicochemical and toxicological properties, where available, in order to anticipate the most toxic compounds. Aniline and m-cresol were the most toxic compounds with no observed apical effect concentration (NOAEC) values for sea urchin ranging between 0.01 and 0.1 mg/L, followed by butyl acrylate and cyclohexylbenzene with NOAECs ranging between 0.1 and 1.0 mg/L and trichloroethylene with NOAEC values that were in the range between 1 and 10 mg/L, reflecting their behaviour in water, mostly vapour pressure, but also solubility and log Kow. Hexane was toxic only for turbot embryos, due to its neurotoxic effects, and not for sea urchin larvae, at concentrations in the range between 1 and 10 mg/L. The concentrations tested were of the same order of magnitude for both species, and it was observed that sea urchin embryos (length of the longest arm) are more sensitive than turbot eggs larvae (hatching and cumulative mortality rates) to the HNS tested (except hexane). For this specific compound, concentrations up to 70 mg/L were tested in sea urchin larvae and no effects were observed on the length of the larvae. Both tests were found to be complementary depending on behaviour in water and toxicity target of the compounds analysed.
Guanabara Bay is characterized by predominant eutrophication and anoxic sediments with a mixture of pollutants. The risk prognosis associated with the dumping of its dredged sediments into the open ocean was addressed by our algorithm. Our algorithm could prioritize areas, characterize major processes related to dredging, measure the potential risk of sediments, and predict the effects of sediment mixing. The estimated risk of dredged sediment was > 10-fold than that of ocean sediments. Among metals, mercury represented 50–90% of the total risk. The transfer of dredged material into the ocean or internal dumping in the bay requires a 1:10 dilution to mitigate the risk and bring the risk levels close to that in the EPA criteria, below which there is less likelihood of adverse effects to the biota, and a 1:100 dilution to maintain the original characteristics of the ocean disposal control area. Our algorithm indicator can be used in the design of both aquatic and continental disposal of dredged materials and their management.
Marine litter is a growing environmental problem, especially plastic material is accumulated in the seas where it will fragment to smaller pieces. Marine litter has severe consequences for the marine life, as well as for economy and social development. Marine litter is high on the political agenda, and legislations, amongst all the Marine Strategy Framework Directive's descriptor 10 for determining good environmental status, aims at preventing waste to become marine litter. The purpose of the pilot study presented in this report is to raise awareness amongst officials at municipalities and authorities about the need to reduce the presence of litter in the marine environment and to give ideas/suggestions on how this can be done. The project has therefore developed a “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”-approach, which together with local knowledge and experience, can be used to identify sources of marine debris by using existing statistics. Södertälje is used as a pilot area where we give examples on indicators for marine litter in the urban environment and proposed measures for each indicator. We hope that this will encourage municipalities to reflect on how preventive measures against marine litter can be incorporated in local waste management plans and become part of their regular routine.