Medicon Microbiology (ISSN: 3008-248X)

Research Article

Volume 1 Issue 1

Distribution and Abundance of Micro Litters in the Selected Beaches of Gulf of Mannar, India during August 2013 and February 2014

Chockalingam Muthiah Ramakritinan, Balakrishnan Ramkumar, Malairaj Santhanakrishnan and Thillaichidambaram Muneeswaran

Published: January 31, 2022

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Anthropogenic, non-degradable materials are well-known for fragmentation in the coastal and marine environments which lead to formation of micro litter particles. Due to the buoyant and persistent properties of micro litters, they have a potential to become widely dispersed in the coastal marine environment through the hydrodynamic processes and ocean currents. Ingestion of these micro litters in marine organisms has been reported hence they play a vital role in disturbances in the marine food webs. Therefore, we have assessed the distribution and abundance of micro litters in ten selected beaches along the Gulf of Mannar between Dhanuskodi and Thoothukudi, southeast coast of India during August 2013 and February 2014.
Overall, the total micro litters segregated in the Gulf of Mannar were 27.9 item m3 -1. The sampling period wise record showed that August 2013 found highest record of 17.67 item m3 -1 while it was only 10.23 item m3 -1 in Feb. 2014. Overall Gulf of Mannar recorded >92.6% occurrences of both hard (40.5%) and soft (52.1%) plastic type micro litters, whereas no single record of litter types of glass and cloth type micro litters were noticed. Nevertheless, overall, 2.6-5.0 mm size groups accounted maximum numbers in the Gulf of Mannar beaches. As litter groups, overall mean abundance of all five micro litter categories were higher in
Mugundarayar Chadram beach (17.0%) in Aug. 2013 and in Kundukal (15.2%) during Feb. 2014. As micro litter size categories, >10 mm sizes found to be dominated (1.56 item m3 -1) in Muguntharayar Chadram beach and Pudumadam beach during Aug. 2013 and Feb. 2014, respectively.
The present study concludes that, the abundance of micro litters found to be varied between surveys, beaches, litters’ group and litters’ sizes. The micro litters of soft (SP) and hard plastics (HP) contributed more than 92.6% and mostly by fragments of fishing nets, nylon ropes, food wrappers, plastic buoys etc. The present study concludes that there is a possibility of migration of micro litters to the coastal and coral reef environments of Gulf of Mannar due to hydrodynamic process thus enter the marine food chain including corals via engulfment as food materials. Therefore, a proper disposal plan should be followed to control solid waste management in the Coastal Marine Environment.
Keywords: Marine Litter; Micro Plastics; Beaches; Hydrodynamic process; Gulf of Mannar