Marine litter research expedition in the Pelagos Sanctuary (SPAMI)

- Diary -

23

June

SAMPLING ENDANGERED SPECIES (CETACEANS)

ECOTOXICOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS OF STRIPED DOLPHIN FROM THE PELAGOS SANCTUARY BY SKIN BIOPSY.

 

 

 

Snapshot of a weekend

17

June

the Plastic Busters MPAs with CIMA Research Foundationcollected 3 new skin biopsies from sperm whales, in their way to Corsica from Nice.

 

 

3 skin biopsies from sperm whales were collected

16

June

2nd set of the sampling activities

Due to unfavorable weather conditions, the departure for the 2nd set of the sampling activities was delayed to Sunday, 16th June.

During this set, the team will take the direction of Nice, from Loano; and then will be heading for Corsica. 

 

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Roadmap for the upcoming days 

 

 

ACTIVITIES SUMMARY

11

June

Plastic Busters MPAs in the medias

This week, we're delighted to have with us on board two journalists from the Italian TV channel Sky.

They are preparing a reportage on the Plastic Busters MPAs sampling campaign in Sanctuaire Pelagos that will contribute to raising awareness about marine litter issues to a wider public.

 

 

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9

June

Children raising awareness 

this weekend, the Plastic Busters MPAs team dropped anchor and went to meet the public, especially children.

 

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More than 100 kids participated in the activities prepared by the team in collaboration with CIMA Research Foundation in two harbors: Marina di Pisa & Marina di Loano.

The aim of this day was connecting the public with their surrounding and encouraging children to learn more about marine litter and the solutions that can be easily implemented to tackle it.

Activities summary of the 1st week

 Days
 miles

microplastics samples

floating litter surveys

Cetaceans skin biopsies

samples of velella velella

lanternfishes

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Collecting field data to validate the forecasting accumulation model of marine litter

6

June

SAMPLING ENDANGERED SPECIES (CETACEANS)

The team COLLECTED Skin biopsies of Fin whale.
 

In total to date:

Cetaceans skin biopsies

5

June

VALIDATION OF MARINE LITTER HOTSPOTS MODELS

predictive models of marine litter dispersal are very useful to environmental managers. Today, the team validated the forecasting Marine Litter accumulation model in HIGH AND LOW LITTER ACCUMULATION ZONES. 

4

June

About last night

Plastic Busters MPAs team had the opportunity to collect lanternfishes, a specieS that can be used in the project as potential indicator of microplastics in the water column. Lanternfishes are the dominant bottom-dwelling fish in the gyres. 

 

 

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We collected the lanternfishes only during the night. They are deep water fishes that stay at the bottom during the day and move during the night-time".
Cristina Fossi, University of Siena

today in pictures

The Plastic Busters MPAs team sampled floating litter: this morning, they collected several floating micro-litter close to the harbour of Genoa. 

 

 

2

June

Sampling endangered species (cetaceans)

ECOTOXICOLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS OF STRIPED DOLPHIN FROM THE PELAGOS SANCTUARY BY SKIN BIOPSY.

 

 

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As part of the first leg of the Plastic Busters MPAs simultaneous monitoring activities in the Pelagos sanctuary, the team collected 9 skin biopsies of dolphin and 1 biopsy of fin whale.

9 skin biopsies of dolphins

1 biopsy of fin whale

Velella Velella

In addition to the cetaceans skin biopsies, the team collected very interesting species such as Velella velella that can be tested in the project as a neustonic micro plastic indicator. 

Monitoring floating microlitter and macrolitter

At least 10 manta samples of floating micro-plastics were collected as well as 20 floating macro-litter surveys were carried out during the cruise. 

 

The team also monitored the presence on biota.

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10 manta trawls samples

20 floating litter monitoring

+ monitoring the presence on biota

Microplastics collected on the 2nd of June close to the Porto Venere Marine Protected Area. 

Where is the team?

The 1st set of the sampling activities covered a distance of  approximately 120 miles from Loano in Liguria to Marina di Pisa in Tuscany. 
Then the team headed to La Spezia, close to the MPA of Porto Venere. 

 

1

June

30

May

30th May: departure of the 1st Expedition in Pelagos Sanctuary

The Plastic Busters MPAs is ready to take you on a journey to the Pelagos Sanctuary for the most comprehensive monitoring and sampling activities ever realized in this SPAMI. 

The activities will be subdivised in different campaigns: one campaign in June, one campaign in July and one campaign in September. 

The University of Siena (UNISI) will develop the sampling activity in close collaboration with ISPRA, IFREMER, OEC, LaMMA and CIMA Research Foundation.
focus
More information about the Pelagos Sanctuary 

Visit the official webpage of Pelagos Sanctuary 

"The Sanctuary is a marine area of 87,500 sq. km subject to an agreement between Italy, Monaco and France for the protection of marine mammals, which live in it.

A rough estimate lists more than 8,500 macroscopic animal species representing between 4 % and 18 % of global marine species, a remarkable biodiversity, particularly with regard to the number of predators at the top of the food chain such as marine mammals, since Mediterranean represents only 0.82 % of the area and 0.32 % of the volume of the world's oceans.

However, the biodiversity within this sub-section of the Marine Ecosystem of Great Dimension Mediterranean undergoes the combined pressure of natural environmental fluctuations and human impacts."

©photo and text: www.sanctuaire-pelagos.org