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2022 Red Sea

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between the continents of Africa and Asia. It is renowned for its abundant and colorful coral reefs and remote seamounts that attract large marine megafauna, such as sharks. This shark and ray expedition along the Marine Parks Route (Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone Reef) combines extraordinary diving with lectures and citizen science. 

This expedition is a collaboration with the Red Sea Project. We will collect identification pictures of marine megafauna to support scientific research and help improve local conservation measures. 

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2022 Ligurian-Tyrrhenian Sea

The Mediterranean Basin is the cradle of world civilization and a huge and sensitive ecosystem of marine biodiversity.

 

Today about 320 million tourists spend their holidays at the Mediterranean Sea annually. This tourism creates a 40% increase in marine litter during the summer period above and beyond the 208-760 kg of solid urban waste produced annually by the 150 million people living by the Mediterranean basin.

This expedition is part of a 10 years monitoring project, which started in 2018. We would like to evaluate if there are any changes that can be detected with regard to the quantity and spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics found in the area(s). 

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2022 AZORES

The Azores are a remote group of islands in the Atlantic at the very edge of the North Atlantic Gyre.

For this expedition, we collected surface water samples as well from 5 and 25 meter depth to try to understand the horizontal distribution behavior of microplastics in this remote area.

In order to obtain the most accurate picture possible, detailed data on the quantity and composition of the materials found is needed. 

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2022 aeolian islands - Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. North of Sicily lies the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus.

This expedition is a collaboration with the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn. We will collect surface water microplastic samples around the Aeolian islands and combine the data with microplastic samples taken at 50 meter depth. 

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2022 Whitsundays - Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is located at the east coast of Australia and is the world's largest and longest coral reef system. It is the biggest single structure made by living organisms that gives home to over 1,500 species of fish, abundant marine life and over 200 types of birds.

This expedition was a follow-up of our pilot study in 2020 where we showed that up to 120 times more microplastics can be found in the size range of 50 - 300µm than above 300µm. For this study, we introduced a new double-net sampling approach that allowed us to collect and separate at the same time microplastics down to 50µm in size.

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