The Influence of Land Use on Coastal Litter: An Approach to Identify Abundance and Sources in the Coastal Area of Cilician Basin, Turkey

The Cilician Basin located in the Northeastern Mediterranean is a region that is affected by a diversity of anthropogenic pressures and is further expected to suffer from negative economic, environmental and social impacts of coastal litter. To provide a baseline for litter management plans, the standing crop of coastal macro-litter was sampled on 13 beaches following MSFD guidelines. Environmental predictors characterizing beach use and potential land based litter point sources in the vicinity of the beaches were related to litter densities to identify litter sources. The average litter density was 0.92 ± 0.36 items/m2. Litter items resulting from convenience food consumption and smoking made up more than half of the total litter collected, while agricultural, industrial, fishing activities together contributed only 6% of the total number of items. Plastic items on average constituted more than 80% of the dominant material type. Percentages of the litter transported with currents from neighbouring countries (transboundary litter) varied from 0 – 4.23% between beaches. Direct deposition on the beaches was identified as the main method for transport of items to the coastal environment. Our results show poor local awareness and underline the need for educational programs that can help reduce coastal litter.

Carina Aydın, Olgac Güven, Barıs Salihoglu, Ahmet Erkan Kıdeys, Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 16:29-39 (2016)

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