Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Assessment of the Ecological Aspects of Microplastic Pollution in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mombasa Coastal Marine Environments (MICROMARE)

Project Objectives
  1. To quantify the abundance, distribution and fate of microplastics in coastal marine environments of the participating member states.
  2. To identify the major polymers, organic polymer additives and organic pollutants present in microplastics in coastal marine environments of the participating member
  3. To investigate the potential role of microplastics as vectors of marine pollutants and their trophic transfer in marine food webs
  4. To equip public and private stakeholders with the scientific basis for the development and compliance with general environmental regulations concerning chemicals used in plastic production
  5. To foster the development of a diverse scientifically trained workforce through coastal and ocean education programs
  6. To raise public awareness of the risks that microplastics pose to marine ecosystems and, eventually, human health
Expected Results
  1. Potential scale and scope, including analysis of the distribution, potential sources and sinks of microplastics in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mombasa coastal marine environments
  2. New, promising models, endpoints, and methods for ecotoxicological characterization of microplastics beyond the state of current standard approaches
  3. Potential toxicity of chemical additives and associated pollutants vis toxicity of polymer itself, including the composition of additives plastic materials.
Basic Facts
Project Partners:

Department of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries, University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania (Project Lead)
The Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science (M&M) group of the National Museum of Denmark (NMD); Kenya Fisheries Marine Research Institute (KEMFRI); Dept. of Science and Environment, Roskilde University; University of Dodoma, Tanzania.

Lead Institution:
Year of Approval: 2018
Project Country: Kenya and Tanzania
Investigators: Daniel A. Shilla
Study Sites:
Project Activities:

The project is assessing microplastic pollution in the sediment, water and biota from samples collected from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Mombasa coastal marine environments. In addition, the project is investigating the uptake of microplastic distribution in the tissue samples, final fate and effects of microplastics in representative of pelagic and benthic marine organisms. The overall goal is to quantify difference in microplastics occurrence and distribution in various aquatic environmental matrices and examine the adsorption of chemicals on microplastics, their ingestion, trophic transfer and chemical release, and a wide array of ecotoxicological effects on invertebrates and vertebrates and to communicate the findings to the public, relevant national and international authorities and decision makers in the region.

Students Supported by the Project and Titles of their Projects
For more details about the project: