News

Business as usual at SST’s new research lab

SST’s relocation to new premises in Gqeberha has not halted our work in any way. Research is continuing at our new laboratory after special care was taken with the transfer and set-up of all our specialised equipment.

Our research lab equipment is essential in achieving high-quality research outputs through the provision of invaluable information on plastic pollution in our targeted marine environments.

So far this year our research team has conducted various litter surveys, while also continuing with the preparation of mussel samples harvested along the coast of Algoa Bay in August 2023.

Upcoming work includes winter litter monitoring surveys at two beaches in Algoa Bay. Once the litter is collected, it will be counted, categorised, and weighed prior to further analysis in our lab. This allows us to get a better understanding of the types and quantity of litter and potential migration patterns.

With the mussel surveys, wild mussels are harvested from rocky shores at seven beaches along the Algoa Bay coastline, and these samples are then analysed for metals and bisphenols with the help of partner institutions.

Our specialised lab equipment further allows the mussel samples to be prepared in a manner that limits contamination before they are transported for refined analysis. (These methods are elaborated on in our Sample Preparation Manual.)

SST’s beach and mussel surveys form part of our long-term monitoring programmes in Algoa Bay, and involve standardised, African-centric methods that can be replicated by various stakeholders to produce comparable data on pollution.

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