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#FridayScience 3

Tous on Fridays, we popularize one or more studies on microplastics in the Mediterranean.

Studying micro-plastic pollution in paddle surfing

- an inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach 

In order to be able to study micro-plastic pollution in the waters of beach bathing areas , close to highly urbanized areas, cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_and not accessible by sailing boat nor engine, an innovative system has been invented to drag a Manta net using a paddle surf board .


This system called "Paddle Trawl" was invented by a student in Marine Sciences at the University of Barcelona.  In collaboration with the Surfrider Barcelona Foundation, an awareness and scientific research project was launched in which paddle-surfing volunteers contribute to the collection of micro-plastic samples​

Paddle surfing to sample miroplastic in beach water areas near Barcelona

The first sampling study of the beaches adjacent to the Barcelona metropolitan area with the "Paddle Trawl"  has just been published and reveals alarming results._cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

  • Micro-plastics are very abundant in these coastal areas and represent 84% in abundance of the plastics collected. 

  • Among the plastic polymers, polyethylene is by far the most abundant and represents 64% of the plastics collected. Polyethylene is found in plastic bags, plastic water bottles and diapers.

Pie chart showing the abundance of microplastics in nearshore waters off Barcelona beaches

Bibliography :  

[1] Camins, E., de Haan, WP, Salvo, VS, Canals, M., Raffard, A., & Sanchez-Vidal, A. (2020). Paddle surfing for science on microplastic pollution. Science of The Total Environment, 709, 136178.

Synthesis: Aitor Fernandez, Clea Abello

GUI:  Aitor Fernandez, Benjamin Pannetier


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