Macro- and micro-plastics in the Mediterranean: CNR researchers on the Rainbow Warrior
“Less plastic, more Mediterranean” is the name of the research and awareness campaign that the Greenpeace ship called Rainbow Warrior started in the Mediterranean Sea at the end of June; the campaign was organized in Italy in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council-ISMAR-CNR, Anton Dohrn Zoological Station of Naples and the Polytechnic University of Marche.
The campaign, started in Liguria, aims at collecting data and direct evidence on plastic pollution that afflicts our seas.
According to Marco Faimali, CNR Institute of Marine Science, this will be ”A fantastic joint research opportunity for ecologists and environmentalists to hunt for plastic micro-fragments that pollute Mare nostrum and better understand the quantity and impact of this emerging pollutant on the most important ecosystem of our territory”.
Francesca Garaventa, Silvia Morgana and Elisa Costa are the researchers of the CNR-ISMAR sailing on board the Rainbow Warrior with the task of taking samples of water, plankton, fish and invertebrates along the way. They are also checking the quantity and type of micro-plastics found in the environment and in the sea trophic chain.
The ISMAR CNR of Genoa and Lerici, which is involved in several European projects on this topic, has been studying and monitoring the propagation of macro- and micro-plastics to assess the impact of this pollutant on our sea ecosystem. This study will focus on the assessment of the effects on the trophic chain, the interaction of these micro-materials with traditional contaminants and the potential risks for human nutrition.