Author(s): Lattin GL, Moore CJ, Zellers AF, Moore SL, Weisberg SB
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Abstract Previous studies of neustonic debris have been limited to surface sampling. Here we conducted two trawl surveys, one before and one shortly after a rain event, in which debris and zooplankton density were measured at three depths in Santa Monica Bay, California. Surface samples were collected with a manta trawl, mid-depth samples with a bongo net and bottom samples with an epibenthic sled, all having 333 micron nets. Density of debris was greatest near the bottom, least in midwater. Debris density increased after the storm, particularly at the sampling site closest to shore, reflecting inputs from land-based runoff and resuspended matter. The mass of plastic collected exceeded that of zooplankton, though when the comparison was limited to plastic debris similar to the size of most zooplankton, zooplankton mass was three times that of debris.
This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull
and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control