Health

Offshore racing goes to microplastic hunting

Written by Steven mark

REPORTAGE – A sailboat on the Vendée-Arctic loop will hunt down these pollutants in rarely navigated areas.

Fabrice Amedeo (above), on June 26, aboard Newrest-Art & Fenêtres, where microplastics filters are installed (below).
Fabrice Amedeo (above), on June 26, aboard Newrest-Art & Fenêtres, where microplastics filters are installed (below). LOIC VENANCE / AFP

A few dozen hours before the start of the Vendée-Arctic race, Stefan Raimund, SubCtech engineer, is fine-tuning the final adjustments to the scientific sensors on board Fabrice Amedeo’s racing sailboat *. With a precise gesture, he screwed onto one of the instruments three small metal filters intended to collect microplastics present in sea water.

This brand new device developed by the German engineer was eagerly awaited by a group of researchers who have entered into a partnership with the monohull skipper Newrest-Arts & Windows. “Every day during the race, Fabrice Amedeo will change the filters and store them in dedicated bags, so that when he returns we can analyze the microplastics collected”, explains Catherine Dreanno, Ifremer researcher in Brest. And the original course of this qualifying race for the Vendée Globe, modified because of the Covid-19 epidemic which made it impossible to start from

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Steven mark

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