Beach debris in the Azores (NE Atlantic): Faial Island as a first case study

Marine debris is widely recognised as a global environmental problem. This study assesses density, type, and temporal trends of marine debris in two sandy beaches of Faial Island (Azores, NE-Atlantic). During seven months (six days per month) the beaches were surveyed by performing 10 random transects at each site. Recorded items within the range 2–30 cm were organised into seven categories. Densities of total debris varied from 0 to 1.940 items m− 2, with plastics dominating both areas. Both beaches, presented the highest debris abundance in February, most probably related to prevailing winds and swell. Location and/or time of year also seemed to influence the type of debris present. These findings provide new insights into debris accumulation rates in the Azores, where no previous studies were made. It also confirms the global trend of increased plastics accumulation on shorelines, highlighting the need for further research in remote islands.

 

Catharina Pieper, Maria A. Ventura, Ana Martins, Regina T. Cunha, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 101, Issue 2, Pages 575–582, 30 December 2015

The article

 

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