Marine debris in a World Heritage Listed Brazilian estuary

Using monthly otter-trawl deployments, spatial and temporal variability among the relative densities of marine debris were assessed in the Paranagua estuarine complex; a subtropical World Heritage Listed area in southern Brazil. During 432 deployments over 12 months, 291 marine debris items were identified; of which most (92%) were plastic, and more specifically shopping bags, food packages, candy wrappers and cups typically >21 mm long. The most contaminated sectors were those closest to Paranagua city and the adjacent port, and had up to 23.37 +/- 3.22 pieces ha(-1). Less urbanized sectors had between 12.84 +/- 1.49 and 9.32 +/- 1.10 pieces ha(-1). Contamination did not vary between dry or wet seasons, but rather was probably affected by consistent urban disposal and localized hydrological processes. Marine debris might be minimized by using more environment friendly materials, however a concrete solution requires adequately integrating local government and civil society. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Possatto, Fernanda E., Spach, Henry L., Cattani, Andre P. and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 91 (2), pages 548-553, February 2015

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