Friday, 23 June 2017

Beach litter sourcing: A trawl along the Northern Ireland coastline.

 2017 Jun 17. pii: S0025-326X(17)30475-7. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.05.066. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

Faculty of Architecture Computing and Engineering, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Wales SA1 6ED, UK; Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, (CICS.NOVA.FCSH/UNL), Avenida de Berna, 26 C, 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address:
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AX, Wales, UK.
Local Environmental Quality Co-ordinator, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Bridge House, Paulett Avenue, Belfast, BT5 4HD, UK.
Geography & Environmental Sciences, Ulster University, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, N. Ireland BT52 1SA, UK; Discipline of Geology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Fourteen non-recreational coastal locations in Northern Ireland were investigated as to whether beach litter deposition was related to seasonal or site specific factors. Litter items were counted in 100m width transects and 1km strand-line surveys over a five-season period (autumn to autumn). Survey sites comprised fishing ports; estuarine areas, north (high energy) and east coast (low energy) beaches. Fishing ports accumulated the most litter. In the 100m beach surveys, plastics, string and cord, bottle caps, food items, rope, and drink containers dominated. In strand-line surveys, large plastic pieces were dominant, followed by rope, string and cord, strapping bands (absent on beach surveys), cloth, wood (mainly pallets, fish boxes) and metal items. Multivariate analyses revealed major litter category differences between the ports and all other sites, with a lesser distinction between exposed and estuarine sites. There was no simple coastline trend and no apparent effect of seasonality between samples.


Beach litter; Beach/strand-line surveys; N Ireland; Statistical analysis