Plastic pollution is ubiquitous and not even remote protected islands are safe from it. Floating debris can adsorb toxic compounds that concentrate on their surface, being available to the animals that ingest them. For this reason, a baseline study of plastic pollution was conducted in the remote Revillagigedo Archipelago, in the Mexican Pacific Ocean. In 47 manta net samples an average of 4.8 plastics/1000m2 was found, 73% of the pieces being <5 mm. Polyethylene and polypropylene were the most common polymers found. The chemical analysis of organic pollutants revealed that organochlorine pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls are adsorbed on the plastics collected in the area. Filter feeding megafauna such as humpback whales, manta rays and whale sharks could ingest contaminated micro and macroplastics. Plastics were found also on the beach, where they are available to the ingestion by terrestrial animals, including endemic species endangered to extinction.
- Organochlorine pesticides