Marine Plastic Pollution Assessment with Save The Plastic

We are lucky to have met the amazing Yana from Save The Plastic here on Nusa Penida and have developed a partnership using their methodology and our man power. Using beach clean ups, dive against debris, and a micro plastic trawl we are able to get a comprehensive understanding of plastic pollution in the Nusa Penida MPA.

Hear from Yana about her project and and our new partnership:

Introduction

Marine Plastic Pollution is a global problem with local solutions. Studies have established that 80% of the plastic in the Ocean comes from land-based sources. Due to improper disposal or management on land and transported by winds and rain, trash finds its way to the Ocean through rivers and water streams. That pollution has a devastating impact on marine ecosystems and marine life, as well as on human health.

Methodology

In order to cover the entire spectrum of marine plastic pollution, we collect data via three different channels.  

Beach surveys are performed on the same 500m beach for one hour. Then the collected debris are weighted, separated and every single item counted (cigarettes butts, plastic bottles, diapers, straws, foam, etc.). Environmental variables are recorded as weather condition and tide level. 

Microplastic water samples are performed thanks to the 5 Gyres Manta Trawl. We follow the 5 Gyres Institute protocol. The Manta Trawl is deployed on the side of the boat and skim the surface of the water for at least 20 minutes. Once the sample collected we analyses the content, separate and count each piece (film, pellet, foam, fragment, line). Additional variables are recorded as currents, ocean stat and speed of the boat. During the trawl sample, a visual observation of floating debris is performed recording the type, size, distance from the boat buoyancy and colour. 

Dives against debris are performed regularly. The debris collected are separated and counted. Additional data are recorded as depth of the debris, dive time, dive site and number of divers.

Objective

The Marine Plastic Pollution Assessment aims to provide expertise and accurate data on the type and the marine plastic pollution level to local government. By assessing the local situation, we can provide policy recommendations and easy to implement actions to reduce marine plastic pollution.

All the data collected via the 5 Gyres Manta Trawl are communicated to the organization as part of a worldwide marine plastic pollution estimation.”

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