Plastic resin pellets collected at Foul Bay Western Australia in August 2007 have been tested for sorbed persistent organic pollutants. The tests were carried out at the University of Agriculture and Technology in Tokyo, Japan as part of the International Pellet Watch programme (1) which aims to use beached resin pellets as a means for monitoring the global distribution of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). These are long lasting carbon containing chemicals circulating in all major ecosystems and come from both manmade and natural sources.
Plastic resin pellets make a seasonal appearance on South West Australian beaches, showing up in autumn, increasing in numbers during winter and largely disappearing from sight in summer. In 2007 pellets were surveyed between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and this gave a regional picture of the types and condition of pellets and their distribution. The 2008 surveys aim to widen this survey to include the Perth metropolitan area. Accordingly, a survey targeting plastic resin pellets was carried out between Quarry Bay at the South West tip of Western Australia and Burns beach on the Northern fringe of the Perth metropolitan area covering a coastal stretch in excess of 300 km. This survey was conducted between April and June 2008.
Distinctly different types of plastic resin pellets have been found during our surveys of beaches adjacent to the Port of Fremantle. The newness of these pellets and the numbers found indicate one or more local sources from the port precinct and or from drainage further up the Swan River.
Welcome to the first issue of the Marine Micro Plastic Pollution Newsletter. This first issue is somewhat introductory in nature so first a few words about its purpose are in order.
The Fifth International Marine Debris Conference came and went during March. Being ten years since the last conference there was a wealth of material presented and as we digest the information we will review and present this material in future issues. For now a simple taste of the conference proceedings is presented in the International section.