First observations on the abundance and composition of floating debris in the North-western Black Sea

The occurrence of marine litter in the Black Sea region is poorly known and even less data have been reported on the abundance of floating debris. Here we present results from a ship-based visual survey carried out in the North-Western part of the Black Sea, providing the first preliminary data on the characteristics of floating debris in Romanian waters. High litter densities peaking to 135.9 items/km2 were found in the study area (mean 30.9 ± 7.4 items/km2). Probably due to the proximity of the Danube delta, natural debris were on average, much more abundant than anthropogenic litter in most surveyed locations (mean 141.4 ± 47.1 items/km2, max 1131.3 items/km2). Most of the 225 objects we sighted consisted of pieces of wood and other riparian debris (75.5%), however plastic items remained undoubtedly the most abundant type of litter, representing 89.1% of all sighted man-made items. The Black Sea is not exempt from the global invasion of floating debris, however data are still lacking and a basin-wide survey is urgently needed to identify accumulation areas and develop regionally effective solutions to the problem of marine litter.

 

Giuseppe Suaria, Mihaela C. Melinte-Dobrinescu, Gabriel Ion, Stefano Aliani, Marine Environmental Research, Volume 107, Pages 45–49, June 2015

The article

 

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