A baseline analysis of marine debris on southern islands of Belize

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Marine debris is a global issue with acute impacts. Using beach transect surveys, this study investigates debris prevalence on 7 islands in the Caribbean country of Belize. 1754 items were cataloged based on object size, form, material, condition, and economic use. Most of the litter was plastics (68.1%). Styrofoam was the second highest in abundance (9.46%), followed by foam/rubber items (8.04%), glass (3.82%), metal (2.57%), and aluminum (1.94%). Most litter was associated with an urban source (74.8%), while 4.2% and 2.1% were linked to industrial and fishing activities respectively. This study provides a novel baseline for future studies in the scarcely studied region, especially as Belize's economy continues in the conscious shift away from single-use plastic and styrofoam products.

Marine debris, Plastic pollution, Belize, Islands, Caribbean, BEACH DEBRIS, CARIBBEAN COAST, PLASTIC DEBRIS, LITTER, ACCUMULATION, POLLUTION, CONTAMINATION, IMPACTS, REMOTE, USERS, Environmental Sciences, Marine & Freshwater Biology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Blanke, J. M., Steinberg, M. K., & Donlevy, J. P. (2021). A baseline analysis of marine debris on southern islands of Belize. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 172(112916), 112916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112916