Marine pollution between gyres: plastic debris in marine turtles and dolphins in French Guiana, Equatorial Atlantic

Flore Emmonot, Blandine Siegrist, Amandine Bordin, Virginie Dos Reis, Damien Chevallier, Yannick Estevez, Benoit de Thoisy

Submited: 2022-04-10 10:54:37 | Published: 2023-07-02 21:17:27

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol51-issue3-fulltext-2923

Abstract


Plastic pollution has not raised much attention until the 2000s, despite being manufactured for about a century. It is now considered one of the most substantial environmental issues. Here we investigate the presence of plastic contamination in 34 stranded animals on the coast of French Guiana, South America. Here we present information highlighting the magnitude of plastic contamination in marine coastal and pelagic tropical marine vertebrates on the Equatorial Atlantic coast of South America. All four species studied here are protected and emblematic vertebrates of the region, with a fragile conservation status, including the olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea, the green turtle Chelonia mydas and the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea, and a small cetacean, the Guiana dolphin Sotalia guianensis. Macroplastics (polypropylene, polyethylene, terephthalate, and polystyrene) were detected in four juvenile green turtles. Microplastics (polypropylene, polyethylene, terephthalate, polystyrene, nylon, acrylates, polycarbonates) were found in 13 individuals (two dolphins, six olive ridleys, four green turtles, and the leatherback turtle). The sampled species have different diets, distribution patterns, and ages, suggesting widespread plastic pollution. The study area is located far from the oceanic gyres. However, they are influenced by the North Brazilian Current, the Amazon River, and other rivers of the Guianas.

Emmonot F, Siegrist B, Bordin A, Dos Reis V, Chevallier D, Estevez Y, de Thoisy B. Marine pollution between gyres: plastic debris in marine turtles and dolphins in French Guiana, Equatorial Atlantic. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2023;51(3): 459-465. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol51-issue3-fulltext-2923 [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Emmonot, F., Siegrist, B., Bordin, A., Dos Reis, V., Chevallier, D., Estevez, Y., & de Thoisy, B. (2023). Marine pollution between gyres: plastic debris in marine turtles and dolphins in French Guiana, Equatorial Atlantic. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 51(3), 459-465. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol51-issue3-fulltext-2923