East Asian seas: A hot spot of pelagic microplastics

Atsuhiko Isobe, Keiichi Uchida, Tadashi Tokai, Shinsuke Iwasaki

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    291 Citations (Scopus)


    To investigate concentrations of pelagic micro- (<5mm in size) and mesoplastics (>5mm) in the East Asian seas around Japan, field surveys using two vessels were conducted concurrently in summer 2014. The total particle count (pieceskm-2) was computed based on observed concentrations (piecesm-3) of small plastic fragments (both micro- and mesoplastics) collected using neuston nets. The total particle count of microplastics within the study area was 1,720,000pieceskm-2, 16 times greater than in the North Pacific and 27 times greater than in the world oceans. The proportion of mesoplastics increased upstream of the northeastward ocean currents, such that the small plastic fragments collected in the present surveys were considered to have originated in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea southwest of the study area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)618-623
    Number of pages6
    JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Oceanography
    • Aquatic Science
    • Pollution


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