Volume 72

Distribution, abundance, and types of plastic debris along beaches in Demerara Mahaica, Guyana.

Ram, M; W. Forde
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 365

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Two Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Pollution is evident on coasts around the world. Marine debris on beaches is as unsightly as is it harmful to marine organisms. This study assessed the types, abundance and distribution of plastic debris on two study sites located on the coast of Demerara Mahaica, Guyana. The study sites were Marriott beach and Bee-Hive beach and were sampled for macro-plastics and micro-plastics for a period of eight weeks. Selection of the beaches was based on the level of anthropogenic activity. At Marriott beach, surrounded by an urban area, plastic caps had the highest abundance while at Bee-Hive beach, surrounded by a rural community, plastic bottles dominated. Compared to Bee- Hive beach, Marriott beach had the highest abundance of debris with the exception of plastic bottles and unidentifiable plastics indicating that rivers draining from populous areas are the major source of debris to the study site. Overall, plastics accounted for 93.7% of the total marine debris collected. The most abundant types of plastics found were bottles (52.9%), plastic bottle caps (11.3%), and straws (9.8%). Micro-plastics were only present at Bee- Hive beach and were secondary in nature. The findings demonstrate there is a need for management actions to prevent further accumulation of marine debris and reduce the current debris on the coast by implementing better waste management strategies.

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