Marine debris on a tropical coastline: Abundance, predominant sources and fate in a region with multiple activities (Fortaleza, Ceará, northeastern Brazil)

Date of publication 15 June 2020

Authors Cavalcante, Rivelino M.; Pinheiro, Lidriana S.; Teixeira, Carlos E. P.; Paiva, Barbara P.; Fernandes, Gabrielle M.; Brandão, Daysiane B.; Frota, Felipe F.; Filho, Francisco J. N. S.; Schettini, Carlos A. F.

Sources Waste management (New York, N.Y.) : 108, 13–20.



The aim of the present study was to perform the first assessment of the abundance and classification of marine debris as well as determine the sources, transport and fate of this debris on an urbanized coast with multiple human activities. More than 80% of the marine debris was composed of synthetic materials. The beached marine debris was classified according to size. Meso-debris accounted for the highest portion of contamination (55%), followed by macro-debris (25.1%) and small debris (19.9%). Contamination by debris, such as cotton swabs (31%) and lollipop sticks (36.8%) accounted for the largest portion of the small debris class. Human recreational activities were the predominant source of debris, followed by navigation/fishing activities, domestic activities and industrial/port activities. The assessment of the predominance of human activities and the results of the model revealed a larger contribution of debris from recreational activities on nearby beaches on the small to larger scale and that rivers exert less of an influence due to the fact that they do not flow the entire year.

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