Abstract: We provide a baseline assessment of the density and types of microplastics in the western equatorial Atlantic. The highest microplastics density was found in coastal stations near urbanized sites, large tropical estuaries, and fishing grounds. With regard to microplastics composition, most of the identified particles were fibers/filaments, styrofoam, hard and soft plastic, paint, and glass/acrylic. Fibers/filaments were the most abundant (~80%) and occurred at all stations, in both types of mesh nets. Hard plastic particles were frequent (78%) only in the 120 μm mesh net. The mean density recorded in the 120 μm mesh net was about seven times greater than that in the 300 μm mesh net, suggesting that the larger mesh size net did not lead to an accurate description of microplastics density in the pelagic environment or the degree of risk to which organisms are exposed.
Martins Garcia T., Coelho Campos C., Targino Mota E. M., Oliveira Santos N. M., de Santana Campelo R. P., Gomes Prado L. C., Melo Junior M. and de Oliveira Soares M. 2020: Microplastics in subsurface waters of the western equatorial Atlantic (Brazil). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 150, 110705. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110705