Preliminary study on marine debris pollution along Marina beach, Chennai, India

Marine debris is a global issue with adverse impacts on marine organisms, ecological processes, aesthetics and economies. Numerous studies have been conducted to quantify debris on the beach, few of these have been conducted in the Chennai coast and are carried out by volunteers and NGOs. This preliminary study involves collecting and quantifying of various debris along the Marina beach in Chennai, India by conducting survey along the waterline as prescribed by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. Debris was collected on four occasions between March 2015 and April 2015 from 10 transects, each 5 m wide and 100 m long, sorted and categorized by type, quantity and concentration rate along the coastline. The results indicate that the plastic, paper and wood debris occur in the greatest number followed by food waste and metal. The major contributing factor for the debris abundance in Marina beach is the local recreational activity which suggests that the land-based sources provide major inputs to plastic pollution at the beach. These results reinforce that similar large scale projects, monitoring larger areas for considerably longer durations are to be undertaken for accurate quantification of available debris and their impacts on coastal habitats.

Arun Kumar A., Sivakumar R., Y. Sai Rutwik Reddy, Bhagya Raja M.V., Nishanth T., Revanth V., Regional Studies in Marine Science, Volume 5, Pages 35–40, May 2016

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