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'Dr Scott's sampling suggestions'

We often get queries on different aspects of the AUSMAP sampling approach. Here is a quick tip to help with your next microplastic survey.


  • In order to carry out an effective microplastic survey, you need to select the most appropriate strandline for your transect.

  • A strandline is the line/s on a shoreline where the last high tide has deposited debris. Of course in non-tidal environments there is not always a strandline and we generally sample along the water's edge (more details on this in a future tip).

  • First, look for an obvious line of dampness or an area, where seaweed has accumulated.

  • If there are several strandlines, choose the one with the highest amount of debris present.

  • If the strandline has been disturbed, select the next lowest strandline towards the shore.

  • And remember it’s always best to sample after the highest tide of the month or a storm event.

Image: AUSMAP ReefClean training, Townsville QLD

If you have any questions for Dr Scott or would like to suggest a new ‘Tip’, please email us at

And don’t forget that we love to know where & when you are doing an AUSMAP sample & love to see your photos so be sure to send your pics to or tag us on social media @ausmap_au



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