Local marine litter survey – A case study in Alcobaça municipality, Portugal

João P. G. L. Frias @, 1, Joana C. Antunes 1, Paula Sobral 1

@ – Corresponding author
1 – IMAR – Instituto do Mar, Departamento de Ciências e Engenharia do Ambiente, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829–516 Caparica, Portugal.
E-mail: jpfrias@fct.unl.pt (J.P. Frias) 

ABSTRACT
Beach clean-ups campaigns organized by Coastwatch, Geota, are a common annually practice in the Portuguese coastal area. Bearing in mind the goals and objectives of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) (MSFD), the Institute of Marine Research (IMAR FCT-UNL), in Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Universidade Nova de Lisboa participated for the first time in this project with the aim of collecting data about the state of coastal marine plastic pollution.
A close collaboration with Alcobaça municipality and with local teachers and students was set up, in order to gather information about marine plastic debris in this region. Three beaches were surveyed – Paredes de Vitória, Légua and Gralha – for number and mass (g) of plastic debris; and for concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POP in ng g-1) adsorbed to plastic pellets. Paredes de Vitória beach had highest number of items (5200) and mass (886 g). No concerning concentrations of POP were found for Alcobaça municipality beaches, when compared with other beaches in Portugal and worldwide. White, aged and coloured pellets showed higher values of tDDT when compared to the data from 2009 and 2012, confirming the high persistence of this pesticide in the environment. Studies such as these are important, not only to gather information about stranded marine litter on the Portuguese coast, as a contribution to the goals Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), but also to promote environmentall awareness in society from young ages, on the issues of marine litter.

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