In terms of abundance, MPs accounted for 65% of debris recorded within the Tamar Estuary, UK (Browne et al., 2010). As the most important industrial and economic center for China, the region of the Yangtze Estuary is densely populated. Browne et al. (2011) demonstrated that there was a significant relationship
between MP abundance and human population density. Due to dense population concentration, river discharge and various maritime activities, the Yangtze Estuary is vulnerable to plastic accumulation. Nevertheless, MPs in the Yangtze Estuary System are almost completely lacking. The objective of the present investigation was to examine the SCH772984 manufacturer occurrence and distribution of MPs in surface water of the Yangtze Estuary and the adjacent East China Sea (ECS). The study was carried out in the Yangtze Estuary and the coastal water of the East China Sea (Fig. 1). The 7 samplings in the Yangtze Estuary were conducted from July 22 to 23, 2013 during the same low tide (Table 1). Fifteen neustonic trawls were collected from August 4 to Obeticholic Acid 9, 2013 in the coastal water of the East China Sea. Depending on its distance from the shore, the designed sampling trawls were divided along five transects (B, C, D, E and F) and into 3 departments: trawls closest to the shore (TCS), trawls intermediate distance to the shore
(TIS) and trawls farthest to shore (TFS) (Table 2). Surface water samples were collected from each location in the Yangtze Estuary using a 12 V DC Teflon pump at a depth of 1 m (Table 1). Two replicate samples were passed through a 32-μm steel sieve. The retained particulate material was washed into 50 mL glass bottles. The samples in the East China Sea were collected using a neuston net with a 30 × 40 cm2 opening and 333 μm mesh (Ryan et al., 2009) (Table 2). The net was towed along the surface layer at a nominal 2.0 knots (1.75–2.45 knots) for 25–30 min in each transect and towed off the port side of the vessel to avoid disturbance by the bow stiripentol wave. Contents of the net were washed into a sample jar and fixed in 2.5%
formalin (Lattin et al., 2004). In the laboratory, samples containing large quantities of organic matter were oxidatively cleaned using 30% H2O2 (Nuelle et al., 2014). Plastic particles were separated from organic matter by floating in a saturated zinc chloride solution (Liebezeit and Dubaish, 2012). The floating MP particles were filtered over gridded 1.2 μm cellulose nitrate filters. The MPs were enumerated under a dissecting microscope at up to 80× magnification. To avoid misidentification of MPs, we used the criteria applied to define a plastic particle in previous studies (Mohamed Nor and Obbard, 2014 and Norén, 2007). Nevertheless, these selection criteria are considered applicable only for MP particles within the size range 0.5–5 mm (Costa et al., 2010 and Hidalgo-Ruz et al., 2012). Thus the MP particles with the same range size (>0.5 mm) were enumerated in this study.