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Amount of Microplastics in Ocean Worrying

The amount of microplastics and their evolution on Macaronesia beaches are among the priorities of researchers from Madeira, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde.

This is one of the topics under discussion at a meeting held on Thursday the 9th of February at the University of Madeira, Rectory, at 10 am, where the preliminary results of the IMPLAMAC project, “Evaluation of the impact of microplastics and emerging pollutants on the coasts of Macaronesia,” will be debated.

The Interreg-MAC project began in October 2019 and will end in September this year, and has sought to create an observatory that can generate quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of microplastics and different pollutants on the beaches of the four archipelagos. To this end, a monitoring programme for microplastics and various contaminants was developed for the sands and waters of 46 beaches in these archipelagos.

Within the scope of the objectives of the project, the incidence of microplastics in some types of fish and their effect on food chains and ecosystems was also evaluated, with 800 specimens being analysed so far.

These objectives were distributed among the six entities participating in the project: the University of La Laguna (ULL) which is the coordinator of the project, and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) of the Canary Islands, the Regional Agency for the Development of Research, Technology, and Innovation (ARDITI) of Madeira, the Regional Directorate of the Sea of Madeira, the Regional Directorate of The Affairs of the Azores Sea (DRAM) and the University of Cape Verde (UniCV), as associated entities.

The project has also contributed to the improvement of public knowledge about plastic pollution, including public awareness, carrying out important actions to disseminate, train, and create specific environmental education for the marine spaces of the four archipelagos.

Samantha Gannon

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