The abundance, composition and sources of marine debris in coastal seawaters or beaches around the northern South China Sea (China)

Peng Zhou, Chuguang Huang, Hongda Fang, Weixu Cai, Dongmei Li, Xiaomin Li, Hansheng Yu
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (9): 1998-2007
The abundance and composition of marine debris including floating marine debris (FMD), seafloor marine debris (SMD) and beached marine debris (BMD) were investigated in coastal seawaters/beaches around the northern South China Sea during 2009 and 2010. The FMD density was 4.947 (0.282-16.891) items/km², with plastics (44.9%) and Styrofoam (23.2%) dominating. More than 99.0% of FMD was small or medium size floating marine debris. The SMD and BMD densities of were 0.693 (0.147-5.000) and 32.82 (2.83-375.00) items/km², respectively. SMD was composed of plastics (47.0%), wood (15.2%), fabric/fiber (13.6%) and glass (12.1%), while BMD was composed of plastics (42.0%) and wood (33.7%). More than 90% of FMD, 75% of SMD and 95% of BMD were not ocean-based sources but land-based sources, mostly attributed to coastal/recreational activity, because of the effect of human activities in the areas.

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