Preparing the Boat & Sampling Gear
Microplastics are widespread contaminants and project Impact aims to identify hotspots around the Maltese coastal waters and to characterise the types of plastics that are present.
Through this process, our collaborative research team gathered knowledge required for measuring and monitoring this pollutant. To do so, our team of marine scientists is currently undertaking field work around Malta to collect water samples using the methodology of filtration.
The methodology of processing microplastic samples is developed in accordance with the EU Common Implementation Strategy for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (EC, 2013) and UNEP Guidelines for the Monitoring and Assessment of Plastic Litter in the Ocean.
In order to cover the entire heterogeneity of the Maltese waters in terms of potential microplastic content, and to be able to identify microplastic hotspots, Maltese waters are divided into different sampling areas. Within these areas, sampling transects are defined. The transects includes areas minimally exposed to anthropogenic activities as well as highly impacted areas such as harbours.
Making sure all necessary equipment is fully operative, in place and ready to use is the key for a successful sampling session.
On the present pictures, marine scientists are preparing, organising, and verifying the equipment gear before starting sampling: making sure the boat, the manta net, the sensors and all the sampling bottles are in place. Soon we will explain you the sampling method.