Plastic Pollution & Microplastics: Marine Debris Research to Save Sea Turtles
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Sea Turtles 911


While microplastics on turtle nesting beaches have been documented, their presence on turtle basking beaches are still unknown. Sea Turtles 911 volunteers assess the quantity of microplastics on the beaches where sea turtles regularly bask to understand how microplastics affect their basking behavior. Volunteers separate microplastics from sand samples through a density separator assembly, which is constructed by following the instructions here and here. For more information on using the principles of density floatation to collect microplastics, please review the publication A small-scale, portable method for extracting microplastics from marine sediments.

Readings on Plastic Pollution & Microplastics Research
  1. Pfaller (2020) Odors from marine plastic debris elicit foraging behavior in sea turtles

  2. Duncan (2018) Microplastic ingestion ubiquitous in marine turtles

  3. Caron (2018) Ingestion of microplastic debris by green sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef: Validation of a sequential extraction protocol

  4. Beckwith (2018) Microplastic at nesting grounds used by the northern Gulf of Mexico loggerhead recovery unit

  5. Lynch (2018) Quantities of Marine Debris Ingested by Sea Turtles: Global Meta-Analysis Highlights Need for Standardized Data Reporting Methods and Reveals Relative Risk

  6. Jung (2018) Polymer Identification of Plastic Debris Ingested by Pelagic-Phase Sea Turtles in the Central Pacific

  7. Wilcox (2018) Quantitative analysis linking sea turtle mortality to plastic ingestion

  8. Clukey (2017) Investigation of plastic debris ingestion by four species of sea turtles collected as bycatch in pelagic Pacific longline fisheries

  9. Casale (2016) Biases and best approaches for assessing debris ingestion in sea turtles, with a case study in the Mediterranean

  10. Fukuoka (2016) The feeding habit of sea turtles influences their reaction to artificial marine debris

  11. Nelms (2015) Plastic and marine turtles: a review and call for research

  12. Wedemeyer-Strombel (2015) High frequency of occurrence of anthropogenic debris ingestion by sea turtles in the North Pacific Ocean

  13. Schuyler (2015) Risk analysis reveals global hotspots for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles

  14. Schuyler (2014) Mistaken identity? Visual similarities of marine debris to natural prey items of sea turtles

  15. Schuyler (2013) Global Analysis of Anthropogenic Debris Ingestion by Sea Turtles

  16. Muller (2012) Experimental degradation of polymer shopping bags (standard and degradable plastic, and biodegradable) in the gastrointestinal fluids of sea turtles

  17. Carr (1987) Impact of nondegradable marine debris on the ecology and survival outlook of sea turtles