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Meso- and microplastics monitoring in harbour environments: A case study for the Port of Durban, South Africa

19 Jan 2021

An investigation into the abundance and distribution of meso- and microplastics within the Port of Durban was conducted using a static immersible water pump and particle filtration system to collect meso- and microplastics from the water column, microplastics from sediment samples and corresponding CTD. Microplastics were detected in all samples under investigation. Results suggest that sewage overflow, stormwater drains, port operations, followed by rivers are input areas for mitigation to focus on. Identifying meso- and microplastics inputs, baselines and distribution allow for long term monitoring and management in a harbour environment. This can potentially contribute to the control and regulation of small plastics particles in harbours, and the subsequent transport of these pollutants via dredged material into other ecosystems.

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