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Marine plastics threaten giant Atlantic Marine Protected Areas

Barnes et al.

This study assesed plastics in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in UK overseas territories in the Atlantic, and investigated the shore, sea surface, water column and seabed of the MPAs. During the research period from 2013 to 2018, drastic changes were found; marine debris on beaches increased more than 10 fold in the past decade and also plastics on the sea surface increased. This, and the finding that beach densitities of plastics at remote South Atlantic sites approached those at industrialised North Atlantic sites, suggests that MPAs do not protect the marine ecosystem from the threat of plastics.