Following the "MICRO 2014" workshop in Plouzané, France, and the "MICRO 2015" seminar in Piran, Slovenia, we are pleased to invite the scientific community and stakeholders to "MICRO 2016", a three-day international conference, hosted in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain 25 - 27 May 2016:
Fate and Impact of Microplastics in Marine Ecosystems: From the Coastline to the Open Sea
Nearly all aspects of daily life involve plastics, and the production of plastics has increased significantly in recent decades. Plastic is widely used since it is versatile, light, durable and cheap. These same qualities allow it to travel over long distances across oceans and seas if we do not manage it carefully. Consequently, plastic is becoming an ever-increasing problem due to its low production cost, potential toxicity and universal presence. Plastics are persistent materials, which tend to accumulate in the marine environment from coasts to the open sea.
Microplastics (MPs) are defined as all plastic particles less than 5 mm and come from two sources: (i) primary MPs, which include industrial abrasives, exfoliants, cosmetics and pre-production plastic pellets; (ii) secondary MPs, which come from the degradation of plastic debris.
MPs can contain additives such as UV-stabilizers, colourings, flame retardants and plasticizers, which are transported by the plastic pieces and are susceptible to being taken up by living organisms. These plastics can accumulate persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from the environment and facilitate their transfer into marine food webs. They can also be a vector for invasive species and harmful pathogens.
Although impacts of MPs in marine ecosystems have been reported in the literature since the 70’s, many questions still remain open.
MICRO 2016 in Lanzarote will provide an opportunity to share available knowledge, fill in gaps, identify new questions and research needs, and develop commitments to operationalize solutions.
Participants are invited to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation on the following MICRO 2016 topics:
* From macro- to microplastics: Weathering and fragmentation processes
* From source to sink: Occurrence and distribution of microplastics in fresh water bodies, coastal zones and the open ocean
* Impacts of microplastics on marine life
* Microplastics as vectors of biological and chemical contaminants
* Socioeconomic impacts of microplastics
* Citizen science, outreach, education and communication