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Comparing marine anthropogenic debris on inhabited mainland beaches, coastal islands, and uninhabited offshore islands: a case study from Queensland and the Coral Sea, Australia

Citation

Roman, L and Warmbrunn, A and Lawson, TJ and Willis, K and Wilcox, C and Hardesty, BD, Comparing marine anthropogenic debris on inhabited mainland beaches, coastal islands, and uninhabited offshore islands: a case study from Queensland and the Coral Sea, Australia, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 172 Article 112919. ISSN 0025-326X (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112919

Abstract

Anthropogenic debris (AD) including plastics, foams and fishing debris, are an undesirable accompaniment to beaches worldwide, arriving through direct deposition (littering) and oceanic transport. We investigated the standing stocks of 12 types of AD on inhabited islands, uninhabited islands and mainland locations, and the potential factors relating to AD deposition. We undertook beach-transects and sea-surface trawl surveys; comparing 13 uninhabited offshore islands, four inhabited/touristed coastal islands and 81 mainland beaches in Queensland, Australia. The abundance and type of AD differed between sites. Geographic factors had stronger relationships with AD density on islands than mainland beaches. Hard plastic density was linked with forcing from wind and sea surface currents. Beach width and onshore/side-shore forcing were the most important factors affecting AD loads (predominantly hard plastics) on islands. We found an inverse relationship between the density of beached plastic and plastic floating at the sea surface nearby and suggest that islands may act as a local sink for buoyant plastic.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:plastic pollution, islands, marine debris, Queensland, Australia
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Roman, L (Dr Lauren Roman)
UTAS Author:Willis, K (Ms Kathy Willis)
ID Code:146646
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-09-20
Last Modified:2021-10-28
Downloads:0

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