The Plastic Busters MPAs in the lab

During the Plastic Busters MPAs marine litter research expeditions carried out in 2019 (spring, summer, autumn), a lot of samples of different marine compartments (water, sediment, biota) were collected by the partners involved in the testing phase of the project.

These samples will now be processed at the laboratory in order to assess the presence of marine litter in Mediterranean pelagic and coastal MPAs and its impact on marine wildlife.



Welcome to “the Plastic Busters in the Lab” section, where you have the opportunity to follow the Plastic Busters MPAs’ work undertaken in the lab, where the samples collected during the marine litter research expeditions will be processed.

Over the spring, summer and autumn months of 2019, harmonized methodologies for monitoring the presence and impacts of marine litter in Mediterranean pelagic and coastal MPAs have been tested. The marine litter research expeditions were carried out at the Pelagos Sanctuary, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and the Cabrera Archipelago National Maritime-Terrestrial Park.

Researchers carried out surveys to assess the amounts, types and sources of marine macro- and micro-litter found on beaches, the sea-surface and the seafloor.

Skin biopsies from key species such as fin whales, sperm whales, striped dolphins and bottlenose dolphin, faeces samples of monk seals and blood and feather samples of seabird Scopoli’s Shearwater were also collected to shed light on the marine litter impact on endangered species.

Other biota samples collected from different species such as isopods, lanternfish, bogues, anchovies, mussels, sea urchins, holothurians, etc. will be used to assess the ingestion of marine litter and its effect on marine biota.


Welcome to the Plastic Busters MPAs in the lab!