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Plastics and the Marine Environment

Recently Professor of Universidade de Vigo and head of ECOTOX Ricardo Beiras has participated in a radio show focusing on the issue of plastics in the environment. He has pointed out that it is a global problem, since the area of accumulation is offshore, but storms can bring them to the shore line anywhere in the world.


Micro 2018 (Radio5 - RNE)

Nowadays, the world center of research on microplastics is placed in the Canary Island (Spain) of Lanzarote, recognized as a Biosphere Reserve 25 years ago,  due to a conference organized by its Cabildo de Lanzarote. Dr. Ricardo Beiras, Professor of Ecology at the University of Vigo, is interviewed on the radio program "Españoles en la mar" on Radio5 - Spanish National Radio Station (RNE).

Why is plastic contamination so dangerous? The other side of the coin.

By Pedro Campoy López and Alexandre Martínez Schönemann.

The amount of plastic that reaches the marine environment has not stopped increasing and this fact is not new; from the 1950s until now plastic production has grown exponentially, reaching 322 million tons per year currently1 and collaterally we find the increase of plastic discharges in the sea that is estimated at 4 and 12 million tons per year2.

A sea of plastics

Each year 8 million tons of plastics are thrown into the world's oceans. The smallest, called microplastics, are absorbed by marine organisms. But nobody knows what consequences plastics have for environmental health and also for human health. A team from the University of Vigo coordinates the European project Ephemare, with scientists and institutions from 10 different countries, which seek an answer to this question.


RepescaPlas: plastics recovered from the sea

By Sara López Ibáñez

Nowadays, marine ecosystems are under a huge pressure performed by human beings from all over the world. Some of the first causes that are making the degradation and even the disappearance of the habitats happen are, mainly, acts like overfishing, the amount of greenhouse gases, emissions or the excessive generation of aguas residuales, o la generación desmesurada de wastes that end in the sea (80% from land activities).

Microplastics: the invisible menace

Microplastics, fragments of plastic lower than 5 mm in size, are found in every environmental compartment, both in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. A research group from Vigo University (Galicia, Spain) led by Prof. Ricardo Beiras are studying the uptake by plankton and transfer into marine food webs, as well as their toxic effects. The in depth knowledge on these issues will be useful also to prevent implications of microplastics on human health.

Plastic's age

The program "Equipo de Investigación", of Spanish channel laSexta TV, analyzes the situation of plastic. Prof. Ricardo Beiras and his team participates from the facilities of the ECIMAT.



VI International Symposium on Marine Sciences

Seis simposios de referencia internacional al mismo tiempo en un mismo lugar: ISMS, EOF, SIQUIMAR, REDIBAL, ISC CDM, y el WorkShop 'Patrimonio Cíes'. Expertos de todo el mundo están en el ISMS del 20 al 22 de junio en el Auditorio Mar de Vigo, en Vigo (España).

As mal chamadas bolsas oxo-biodegradables

As chamadas bolsas “oxo-biodegradables”, distribuídas pola Xunta de Galicia e que atopamos en mercados locais, están fabricadas con polímeros convencionais aos que se lle engaden catalizadores químicos. Suponse que estes aditivos permiten a biodegradación de plásticos aparentemente non biodegradables pero, en realidade, estas bolsas desintégranse en fragmentos invisibles de plástico convencional non biodegradable, constituíndo auténticas bombas de microplásticos ao ambiente.

Whale Bone sampling

Today we have done the first, sand sampling looking for microplastics at Whale Bone Beach at Whale Bone Bay. We (Christelle, Camila, Olivier, Anna Hyde and myself) departed at 07:00 in the morning from Carolina Bay, a former military in Morgans Point.

Whale Bone Beach is a small beach is located in Ferry Reach Park or Ferry Point Park, at the western Peninsula of St. George's Parish. It’s a rocky beach of about 25 metres long. If you love snorkeling, this place can be really rewarding. You can see many coral reef fish (parrot fish), sponges, corals and holothurians.


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