[MARMAM] paper on cetaceans and marine debris

Cristina Panti panti4 at unisi.it
Wed Jun 13 00:34:00 PDT 2018


Dear Colleagues,


I would like to share with you our last publication as a mini-review on the
interaction of cetaceans and marine debris: 


"A Review of Plastic-Associated Pressures: Cetaceans of the Mediterranean
Sea and Eastern Australian Shearwaters as Case Studies" by Fossi MC, Panti
C, Baini M and Lavers JL. Front. Mar. Sci., 23 May 2018 |





Impacts of debris on marine fauna occur throughout the marine ecosystems,
with adverse impacts documented on over 1,400 species; impacts can be
divided into those arising from entanglement, and those from ingestion.
Ingestion of, and entanglement in, debris has been documented in over 60% of
all cetacean species. Seabirds are also impacted by debris predominately
through entanglement and ingestion, with the number of species negatively
impacted increasing from 138 to 174 over the past two decades. In the marine
environment, cetaceans and seabirds are widely regarded as reliable
sentinels due to their position near the top of the marine food web,
conspicuous nature, and reliance on marine resources; for this reason, this
paper is focused on seabirds and cetaceans as sentinels of ocean change. In
particular, two case studies are considered in relation to different levels
of environmental anthropogenic impact: the cetaceans of the Mediterranean
Sea and seabirds of eastern Australia. Here we describe two recent studies
used to diagnose the toxicological stress related to debris-associated
pressures in cetaceans and seabirds. These studies highlight the diversity
and scale of impacts being felt by marine species and the role these
organisms can play in our society as charismatic sentinels of ocean health.
Seabirds and marine mammals are exposed, in these key areas, to a variety of
adversities that potentially decrease their survival or reproductive
success. These include weather, food shortages, predators, competitors,
parasites, disease, and human-induced effects and plastic pollution. Each
factor affects seabirds and marine mammals in a different way, but more
importantly, factors can also interact and create impacts far greater than
any one factor alone. The Australian and Mediterranean case studies
presented here emphasize the need to consider multiple sources of mortality
when developing management plans for the conservation of vulnerable species.


Best regards,




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Cristina Panti, PhD

Department of Environmental, Earth and Physical Sciences

University of Siena

Via P.A. Mattioli, 4

53100, Siena



Ph. +39 0577 232883

Fax. +39 0577 232930


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