JPI Oceans HOTMIC Cruise

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Plastics is the most abundant kind of debris found in our oceans, in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Microplastics (MPs) are plastic pieces smaller than 5 mm which are now considered ubiquitous in marine environments, and represent a potential threat for marine life and, in the long term, human health.

The HOTMIC project is one of the six consortia of JPI Oceans currently dealing with plastics-related marine issues, and the UGent MarBiol is part of it.

Particularly, we are going to investigate the amount of MPs in marine sediments and their impact on benthic fauna, in order to improve our knowledge on the role of MPs in marine ecosystems’ dynamics.

The AL 534/2 cruise on board of the Alkor vessel was the first cruise of the project, organized with the intent to collect water, gelatinous organisms (jellyfish, zooplankton) and sediment samples along the Atlantic coast.

The focus of the campaign were especially shallow areas close to the main river mouths along the coast, which are supposedly acting as a source of microplastics for more open waters.

Check out the HOTMIC project webpages to know more: