Small pieces of plastics could be toxic for the organisms
?Small pieces of plastics could be toxic for the organisms?
Cristina Fossi?s research aims to determine the effects of microplastics
on marine animals. Aboard of Tara, she is collecting krill and other
microorganisms. During other sampling campaigns, she is collecting whale
biopsy. For the professor on ecotoxicology in Italy, the only way to
solve the problem of macro and microplastics in the Mediterranean is to
work on a global scale: all countries must enforce the Barcelona
Convention and follow the Marine Litter Action Plan.
What kind of research are you doing at the University of Sienna?
Our group is a biomarker lab from Sienna. For the past 20 years we have
been involved in a study of the impact of contaminants on Mediterranean
marine organisms. In the last 5 years we have focused especially on the
potentially impact of microplastics in the Mediterranean, and in
particular in the Pelagos area. In fact we published in 2012 the first
paper on the impact of the microplastics on whales. We think it?s a very
important topic because it?s probably one of the species that can be
largely impacted by microplastics. Each time a whale opens its mouth, it
filters 70 000 litters of water. So that?s one of the largest filter
feeder species of microplastics in the world!