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Assessment of marine microplastics in floating plastic debris using a fixed sampling device: the example of South Juhu creek, Mumbai coast, India

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Abstract

A new design of sampling device was developed and used for the assessment of microplastics in the floating plastic debris of the water channel flowing from the creek towards the sea. During the intermonsoon period (April to May), the collection using the sampling device showed over 106 microplastic particles with 9.9 g weight during the low tide conditions. A lesser number and amount of microplastic was recorded (95 particles weighing 8.7 g) during the high tide conditions. The collected microplastics were dried, segregated, assessed, and classified into four major categories, namely: plastic fragments, microfibre, microbeads, and foamed plastics. In total, six samplings were carried out in the water channel and it was evident that the maximum number and the maximum weight (g) of microplastics corresponds to low tide (post-high tide) conditions. The present investigation reveals that an insignificant quantity of microplastics is carried to the sea from the landward side. It is concluded that the origin of the microplastics in the oceans is through fragmentation and degradation of macro-and megaplastic transported to the sea through inland water channels connected to the sea. The contribution of microplastics from the landscape surrounding the sea/oceans is negligible. It is emphasized that the magnitude of microplastic in the oceans can be reduced by preventing the entry of macro- and megaplastics from the landward side.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Director & Vice-chancellor, ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai, and Head of Department, Aquatic Environment and Health Management Division, ICAR- CIFE, Mumbai for necessary support and providing all possible facilities to complete this research work successfully. The permission and coordination received from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and citizens of Juhu and Khar-Danda villages are also acknowledged. The authors are also thanks to the journal editor for suggesting thoughtful and valuable comments to improve and revise the manuscript.

Funding

This research work was supported by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai, India.

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Contributions

S. Manickavasagam: Conceptualization, Visualization, Methodology, Data curation, Editing, and Writing- original draft.

S.P. Shukla: Conceptualization, Visualization, Methodology, Writing- original draft, Editing, & Supervision.

Saurav Kumar: Data curation, Visualization & Methodology.

Kundan Kumar: Visualization & Methodology.

G. rathi Bhuvaneswari: Visualization & Methodology.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. Manickavasagam.

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Research Highlights

1. Baseline data about the quantity of microplastics flowing to the sea through a water channel is scarce in the literature.

2. An insignificant quantity of microplastics was present in the floating plastic debris flowing to the sea.

3. First report of an assessment of microplastics flowing to the sea from land by a fixed sampling device.

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Manickavasagam, S., Shukla, S.P., Kumar, S. et al. Assessment of marine microplastics in floating plastic debris using a fixed sampling device: the example of South Juhu creek, Mumbai coast, India. J Coast Conserv 25, 20 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-021-00810-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-021-00810-x

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