Abundance and composition of marine litter along the italian coasts: contribution from official monitoring and citizen science

Merlo, Vittoria (2020) Abundance and composition of marine litter along the italian coasts: contribution from official monitoring and citizen science. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Biologia marina [LM-DM270] - Ravenna, Documento full-text non disponibile
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Assessment of amounts, distribution, composition and sources of beach litter was conducted on Italian coast in 2017. Data have been collected by scientific staff from the Regional Environmental Protection Agencies of Italy (MSFD), and by citizen scientists coordinated by the environmental association Legambiente (Clean Up the Med initiative). The vast majority of marine litter collected (>70%) were plastic objects, 30% of which were single-use plastic. In the investigated MSFD subregions, Adriatic Sea appeared to have the highest presence of fishing-related items (7.76%), Western Mediterranean Sea had a high number of cigarette butts and filters (8.19%) and Ionian and Central Mediterranean Sea had plastic bags (8%). Considering the level of urbanisation, rural beaches are the only one that showed a low abundance of Smoke-related litter (min-max: 0-21 items/100 m - <4%), urban beach resulted in having cigarette butts and filters (min-max: 6-140 items/100 m - 9.22%). “Non-sourced” items represented a large percentage of the litter found in all subregions and among beach type (29%-50%), together with “Public litter” (31% to 53%). Coastal Clean Index (CCI), used for testing the beach cleanliness, showed that most beaches were classified as Very Clean or Clean in both study periods investigated in the framework of the MSFD. Comparison between the MSFD monitoring and the Clean Up the Med initiative showed that there were no significant differences in the total density of beach litter detected, but there was a significant difference in terms of composition. This was probably due to the fact that Clean Up The Med survey was unbalanced between regions, due to the voluntary nature of the project. The results remarked how urgent is a national action against beach littering (plastic in particular), and the need in a global shift in human mindsets and behaviour, that could happen also thank to the work of citizen science volunteers and environmental association as Legambiente.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Merlo, Vittoria
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
beach litter,marine litter,MSFD,Mediterranean sea,citizen science,plastic,marine strategy,Legambiente,Italy
Data di discussione della Tesi
18 Giugno 2020

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