The first report of deep-sea litter in the South-Western Caribbean Sea

Date of publication 3 August 2020

Authors Botero, Camilo M.; Zielinski, Seweryn; Pereira, Cristina, I; Leon, Jorge A.; Duenas, Luisa F.; Puentes, Vladimir.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 157,



Marine litter is a world-wide problem, but the knowledge on this topic in remote areas such as the poles and the deep-sea is still limited. This paper seeks to provide the first accounts of deep-sea litter in the South-Western Caribbean Sea. The survey used 5066 still images from ROV video surveys around four hydrocarbon exploratory drilling zones. Forty-eight deep-sea litter items were found at depths between 427 and 2561 m, and analyzed by three different marine litter classifications. Plastic was the most frequent material (65%) and general litter the main category (69%). Almost half of the deep-sea litter items were found close to marine organism. This baseline is a first step to further research of human impact on the marine bottoms of the Caribbean. The paper highlights the importance of deep-sea litter as a descriptor of marine pollution, and the role of scientific cooperation between off-shore industry and the academy.

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