Assessment of marine litter in the Western Adriatic Sea and its impact on marine biota

Pasquini, Giulia (2016) Assessment of marine litter in the Western Adriatic Sea and its impact on marine biota. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna
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Due to its environmental, safety, health and socio-economic impacts, marine litter has been recognized as a 21st century global challenge, so that it has been included in Descriptor 10 of the EU MSFD. For its morphological features and anthropogenic pressures, the Adriatic Sea is very sensitive to the accumulation of debris, but data are inconsistent and fragmented. This thesis, in the framework of DeFishGear project, intents to assess marine litter on beaches and on seafloor in the Western Adriatic sea, and test if debris ingestion by fish occurs. Three beaches were sampled during two surveys in 2015. Benthic litter monitoring was carried out in the FAO GSA17 during fall 2014, using a rapido trawl. Litter ingestion was investigated through gut contents analysis of 260 fish belonging to 8 commercial species collected in Western Gulf of Venice. Average litter density on beaches was 1.5 items/m2 during spring, and decreased to 0.8 items/m2 in summer. Litter composition was heterogeneous and varied among sites, even if no significant differences were found. Most of debris consisted of plastic sheets, fragments, polystyrene pieces, mussels nets and cottons bud sticks, showing that sources are many and include aquaculture, land-based activities and local users of beaches. Average density of benthic litter was 913 items/Km2 (82 Kg/Km2). Plastic dominated in terms of numbers and weight, and consisted mainly of bags, sheets and mussel nets. The highest density was found close to the coast, and sources driving the major differences in litter distribution were mussel farms and shipping lanes. Litter ingestion occurred in 47% of examined fish, mainly consisting of fibers. Among species, S. pilchardus swallowed almost all debris categories. Findinds may provide a baseline to set the necessary measures to manage and minimize marine litter in the Western Adriatic region and to protect aquatic life from plastic pollution, even accounting the possible implications on human health.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Pasquini, Giulia
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Marine, Litter Beach, Litter Benthic, Litter Plastic, Debris, Ingestion Commercial, Fish, Adriatic Sea Monitoring
Data di discussione della Tesi
22 Marzo 2016

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