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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2022, Vol 22, Num, 7     (Pages: TRJFAS20253)

Riverine Microplastic Loading to Mersin Bay, Turkey on the North-eastern Mediterranean

Ülkü Özgüler 1 ,Aydeniz Demir 1 ,Gülşah Can Kayadelen 1-2 ,Ahmet Erkan Kıdeyş 2

1 Mersin University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, Yenisehir, Mersin, Turkey
2 Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Science, Erdemli, Mersin, 33731, Turkey
DOI : 10.4194/TRJFAS20253 Viewed : 7095 - Downloaded : 1535 Microplastics sampled downstream from a total of eight rivers were analysed as the first attempt to determine microplastic composition in rivers and load to Mersin Bay, in the north-eastern Mediterranean Sea. With a share of 83.5%, fibres were the dominant category from all samples. Basic characteristics (form, colour, average size, polymer) of microplastics from these rivers were similar to those reported from the marine environment in Mersin bay. The overall average number of microplastics calculated for the eight rivers was determined as 293±59 particles/m3 equalling a load of 1200 billion items (mainly from the Göksu River) discharged annually to the north-eastern Mediterranean. This value equivalent to twice the total stock of microplastics within the water column in Mersin Bay, demonstrates that rivers are a primary source of microplastics pollution for the coastal seas. Keywords : Microplastic load Mersin Bay Mediterranean River