Abundance and composition of marine litter around Gokceada Island (Northern Aegean Sea)

Marine debris are frequently studied on beaches and occasionally in coastal waters, but links between these two environments have rarely been studied. Litter items were collected by hand in the Gökçeada beaches supralittoral zone, consisting of sandy or rocky beaches, and collected from subtidal areas between 50–450 m depth range on the continental shelf with bottom trawling. Collected litter were sorted and categorized by type, usage and origin. On the beaches, litter density varied from 0.1 to 22.1 items per 100 m2. Plastic materials dominated the composition of waste materials (59%) followed by soft plastic, nylon (11.5%). Eight percent of litter was of foreign in origin coming from two countries (Greece and Bulgaria). Offshore, during 32 hauls only 12 items were collected, and the number of debris ranged from 0 to 1.6 items km−2. Gökçeada Island should be further monitored in order to develop regional marine litter management solutions.

Onur Gönülal, İdil Öz, Sedat Ozan Güreşen & Bayram Öztürk, Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, volume 19 (4), Nov. 2016

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