Marine debris surveys at Bird Island, South Georgia 1990-1995

Author: Tony R. Walker, Keith Reid, John P.Y. Arnould, John P. Croxall
Year of Publication: 2017
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 34(1): 61-65

Abstract:
The Antarctic marine environment has relatively few direct sources of man-made marine debris; however, there is concern over the dangers posed to wildlife by increasing amounts of such debris. Between 1990 and 1995 beached debris was monitored at Bird Island, South Georgia. This was part of a programme developed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to monitor compliance with waste disposal under MARPOL and the effectiveness of additional regulations to reduce entanglement of marine mammals and birds. Overall, and in all but one year, the highest incidence of debris occurred during the winter months when 75% of all items were collected. The most numerous category overall (76%), and in all samples since 1991, was pieces of synthetic line as used in the long-line fishery for the Patagonian toothfish Dissostichus eleginoides around South Georgia. Packaging bands (6%) and polythene bags (6%) were the next commonest items. There was a substantial increase in the number of items found ashore in 1995 which coincided with an apparent increase in the long-line fishing effort in the area. The increase in the incidence of synthetic line found ashore corresponds to the increase in the proportion of Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella entangled in this material at South Georgia in a parallel study. An increasing use of environmentally-aware scientific observers on all fishing vessels, leading to an increased awareness of existing legislation, should result in less man-made debris entering the marine environment in the area around South Georgia.

Keywords:
Marine debris, South Georgia, long-line fishery, Synthetic line, Packaging bands, CCAMLR

Citation:
Walker, T.R., Reid, K., Arnould, J.P.Y., Croxall, J.P. (1997) Marine debris surveys at Bird Island, South Georgia 1990-1995. Marine Pollution Bulletin 34(1): 61-65.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X96000537

Accumulation of marine debris on an intertidal beach in an urban park (Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia)

Author: Tony R. Walker, Jon Grant, Marie-Claude Archambault
Year of Publication: 2006
Published: Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 41(3): 256-262

Abstract:
This study evaluated monthly accumulation rates and types of marine debris washed ashore at a recreational beach in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax Harbour, between April and September 2005. Black Rock Beach is 70 m long and a total of 2129 marine debris items were collected and sorted, representing a mean accumulation rate of 355 (±68 SE) items month-1. The total weight of debris items was only 10.8 kg (mean 2 kg ±0.4 SE), however eighty-six percent of this debris was plastic material. The types of litter found included: tampon applicators, condoms (i.e., sewage-related debris [SRD]); plastic fast food packaging, confectionary wrappers, Styrofoam fragments, plastic bottles and caps, items of clothing, soft drink cans, cigarettes and cigarette holders (i.e., recreational or land-based debris); packing bands, nylon rope and nets (i.e., shipping- or fishing-related debris). These items were generated by recreational use of the park (52%), sewage disposal (14%) and from shipping and fishing activities (7%). It is suggested that a significant reduction in marine debris at recreational beaches may arise by improving public awareness of the environmental and aesthetic impacts of marine litter and future improvements to the municipal sewage disposal system.

Keywords:
Nova Scotia, Marine debris, Plastic debris, Sewage disposal, Public beaches

Citation:
Walker, T.R., Grant, J., Archambault, M-C., 2006. Accumulation of marine debris on an intertidal beach in an urban park (Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia). Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 41(3): 256-262.

Link:
https://iwaponline.com/wqrj/article-abstract/41/3/256/39831

Spatial trends and drivers of marine debris accumulation on shorelines in South Eleuthera, The Bahamas using citizen science

Author: Kristal K. Ambrose, Carolynn Box, James Boxall, Annabelle Brooks, Marcus Eriksen, Joan Fabres, Georgios Fylakis Tony R. Walker
Year of Publication: 2019
Published: Marine Pollution Bulletin 142: 145-154

Abstract:
This study measured spatial distribution of marine debris stranded on beaches in South Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Citizen science, fetch modeling, relative exposure index and predictive mapping were used to determine marine debris source and abundance. Citizen scientists quantified debris type and abundance on 16 beaches within three coastal exposures (The Atlantic Ocean, Great Bahama Bank and The Exuma Sound) in South Eleuthera. Marine debris, (~2.5 cm or larger) on each beach was monitored twice between March–May and September–November 2013 at the same locations using GPS. Approximately, 93% of all debris items were plastic with plastic fragments (≤2.5 cm) being the most common. There were spatial differences (p ≤ 0.0001) in plastic debris abundance between coastal exposures. Atlantic Ocean beaches had larger quantities of plastic debris by weight and by meter (m) of shoreline. Stranded plastic may be associated with Atlantic Ocean currents associated with leakage from the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre.

Keywords:
Marine debris, Plastic pollution monitoring, Citizen science, Relative exposure index (REI), Eleuthera, Bahamas, Atlantic Ocean

Citation:
Ambrose, K.K., Box, C., Boxall, J., Brooks, A., Eriksen, M., Fabres, J., Fylakis G., Walker, T.R., 2019. Spatial trends and drivers of marine debris accumulation on shorelines in South Eleuthera, The Bahamas using citizen science. Marine Pollution Bulletin 142: 145–154.

Link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X19302206