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Managing the invisible threat of microplastics in marine ecosystems: Lessons from coast of the Bay of Bengal
, Abu Reza Md. Towfiqul Islam,

Invisible microplastics (MP) have become a significant problem worldwide in recent years. Although many studies have highlighted the sources, effects, and fate of MPs pollution on various ecosystems in developed countries, there is limited information on MPs in the marine ecosystem along the northeastern coast of the Bay of Bengal (BoB). Coastal ecosystems along the BoB coasts are critical to a biodiverse ecology that supports human survival and resource extraction. However, the multi-environmental hotspots, ecotoxicity effects, transport mechanisms, fates, and intervention measures to control MP pollution initiatives along the BoB coasts have received little attention. Therefore, this review aims to highlight the multi-environmental hotspots, ecotoxicity effects, sources, fates, and intervention measures of MP in the northeastern BoB to understand how MP spreads in the nearshore marine ecosystem. This study critically evaluates the hotspots and ecotoxic effects of pollution from MP on the coastal multi-environment, e.g., soil, sediment, salt, water, and fish, as well as current intervention measures and additional mitigation recommendations. This study identified the northeastern part of the BoB as a hotspot for MP. In addition, the transport mechanisms and fate of MP in different environmental compartments are highlighted, as are research gaps and potential future research areas. Research on the ecotoxic effects of MP on BoB marine ecosystems must be a top priority, given the increasing use of plastics and the presence of significant marine products worldwide. The knowledge gained from this study would inform decision-makers and stakeholders in a way that could reduce the impact of the legacy of micro- and nanoplastics in the area. This study also proposes structural and non-structural measures to mitigate the effects of MPs and promote sustainable management.

Bay of Bengal coast, Microplastic, Marine ecosystem, Sustainable management, Marine pollution
Journal or Conference Name
Science of the Total Environment
Publication Year