Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Presencia y prevalencia de microplásticos en el agua y organismos marinos en el Golfo de Santa Elena, Guanacaste, Costa Rica


Eliot Headley



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Publication Date

December 2017


Marine environments are sinks for microplastic pollution. Microplastics are widely dispersed through the world’s Ocean and can be fibrous. Synthetic microfibers shed from clothing, wash into rivers, and eventually into the Ocean. These microplastic pieces can be deleterious to marine organisms and the humans that consume them. My aim was to investigate the presence and prevalence of microplastics in the Gulf of Santa Elena, Costa Rica. Microplastics were collected through a plankton net and through dissection of fish guts from local fishermens’ catch. Microplastics, most of which microfibers, were observed in every plankton net sample and in six of the seven fish samples collected. Calculated from this data, there are about 1.03 microplastics in every 10,000L Gulf of Santa Elena water. Los ambientes marinos son sumideros de contaminación por microplásticos. Los microplásticos están ampliamente distribuidos a través de los océanos del mundo y pueden ser fibrosos. Las microfibras sintéticas se desprenden de la ropa, son arrastrados por los ríos y finalmente llegan el océano. Estos pedazos de microplásticos pueden ser perjudiciales para los organismos marinos y los humanos que los consumen. Mi objetivo fue investigar la presencia y prevalencia de microplásticos en el Golfo de Santa Elena, Costa Rica. Se recogieron microplásticos a través de una red de plancton y mediante la disección de las tripas de los peces capturados pescadores locales. Se observaron microplásticos, la mayoría de los cuales fueron microfibras, en cada muestra de red de plancton y en seis de las siete muestras de peces recolectadas. Calculado a partir de estos datos, hay aproximadamente 1.03 microplásticos en cada 10,000L de agua en el Golfo de Santa Elena.


Plastic scrap, Desechos de plástico, EAP Fall 2017, EAP Otoño 2017, Costa Rica--Guanacaste--Cuajiniquil


Student affiliation: Department of Environmental Studies and Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Subject: topical

Plastic scrap; Desechos de plástico; EAP Fall 2017; EAP Otoño 2017

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Guanacaste--Cuajiniquil; Costa Rica--Guanacaste--Cuajiniquil



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Presence and prevalence of microplastics in the water and marine organisms of the Gulf of Santa Elena, Guanacaste, Costa Rica



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