Spatial distribution of marine macro-litter on the seafloor in the northern Mediterranean Sea: the MEDITS initiative
|Other titles||La distribución espacial de la macro-basura marina en el fondo del Mediterráneo norte: los resultados de las campañas MEDITS|
|Author(s)||Spedicato Maria Teresa1, Zupa Walter1, Carbonara Pierluigi1, Fiorentino Fabio2, Follesca Maria Cristina3, Galgani Francois4, Garcia-Ruiz Cristina5, Jadaud Angelique6, Ioakeimidis Christos7, Lazarakis Giorgios8, Lembo Giuseppe1, Mandic Milica9, Maiorano Porzia10, Sartini Marina11, Serena Fabrizio2, Cau Alessandro3, Esteban Antonio12, Isajlovic Igor13, Micallef Reno14, Thasitis Ioannis15|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, via dei trulli 18, 70126 Bari, Italy.
2 : Italian National Research Council (CNR), Institute for Marine Biological Resources and Biotechnologies (IRBIM), Mazara del Vallo, Italy.
3 : Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell’Ambiente, Cagliari University, Italy.
4 : IFREMER/ LER/PAC, 20600, Bastia, France
5 : Centro Oceanográfico de Málaga, Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain
6 : MARBEC, IFREMER, IRD, Université de Montpellier, CNRS, Avenue Jean Monnet - CS 30171, 34203 Sète Cedex, France
7 : UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan, Mediterranean Pollution Assessment and Control Programme (MED POL), Barcelona Convention Secretariat, Vas. Konstantinou 48, Athens 11635, Greece
8 : Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, 71003, Heraklion, Greece
9 : University of Montenegro, Institute of marine biology, Dobrota bb, 85330 Kotor, Montenegro.
10 : Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy.
11 : Aplysia Soc. Coop.r.l., Via Menichetti 35, 57121 Livorno, Italy.
12 : Centro Oceanográfico de Murcia, Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Murcia, Spain.
13 : Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Set. I. Mestrovica 63, 21000 Split, Croatia.
14 : Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Fisheries Resource Unit, Malta.
15 : Fisheries Resources Division, Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Nicosia, Cyprus.
|Source||Scientia Marina (0214-8358) (Institut de Ciències del Mar de Barcelona, CSIC), 2019-12 , Vol. 83 , N. S1 , P. 257-270|
|WOS© Times Cited||10|
|Note||Mediterranean demersal resources and ecosystems: 25 years of MEDITS trawl surveys M.T. Spedicato, G. Tserpes, B. Mérigot and E. Massutí (eds)|
|Keyword(s)||marine macro-litter, plastic, Mediterranean Sea, GAM modelling, accumulation areas, MEDITS|
Marine litter is one of the main sources of anthropogenic pollution in the marine ecosystem, with plastic representing a global threat. This paper aims to assess the spatial distribution of plastic macro-litter on the seafloor, identifying accumulation hotspots at a northern Mediterranean scale. Density indices (items km–2) from the MEDITS trawl surveys (years 2013-2015) were modelled by generalized additive models using a Delta-type approach and several covariates: latitude, longitude, depth, seafloor slope, surface oceanographic currents and distances from main ports. To set thresholds for the identification of accumulation areas, the percentiles (85th, 90th and 95th) of the plastic spatial density distribution were computed on the raster data. In the northern Mediterranean marine macro-litter was widespread (90.13% of the 1279 surveyed stations), with plastic by far the most recurrent category. The prediction map of the plastic density highlighted accumulation areas (85th, 90th and 95th percentiles of the distribution, respectively, corresponding to 147, 196 and 316 items km–2) in the Gulf of Lions, eastern Corsica, the eastern Adriatic Sea, the Argo-Saronic region and waters around southern Cyprus. Maximum densities were predicted in correspondence to the shallower depths and in proximity to populated areas (distance from the ports). Surface currents and local water circulation with cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies were identified as drivers likely facilitating the sinking to the bottoms of floating debris.