Volume 72

Impact of Marine Debris Among Different Coastline Types in Grenada, West Indies

Jaggernauth, A; M.E. Taylor; F. Khan; P. Rosa
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Date: November, 2019

Pages: 16-18

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

City: Punta Cana

Country: Dominican Republic


Marine debris has become a prominent issue because of its impacts on environment, wildlife, and society. Small island nations, such as Grenada, are particularly vulnerable because of their lack of resources to properly manage waste. During a 10 month period between March 2018 and January 2019, we conducted a systematic debris collection on beaches that were used for recreational purposes (high human traffic frequented by tourists and locals), deposition sites (not readily accessible, or well-located, and not frequented by tourists or locals), and underwater sites. Data was collected using an amended Project AWARE citizen science data protocol, to better represent our study area. In 23,868 items collected, weighing 826.75 kg, we found that plastic was the most abundant material and that recreational sites had the greatest amount of debris in both number and weight. The specific discarded items that were the most abundant were metal bottle caps, plastic beverage bottles and plastic bags (over 1000 for each item). Understanding the sources of marine pollution, and the societal causes and behaviours that lead to this type of pollution, could specify better marine litter mitigation recommendations. While positive steps have already been taken by means of the Litter Abatement Act and the importation ban of polystyrene and plastic bags into Grenada, greater enforcement is needed. Cooperation between government, industry and the public is needed in order to tackle our ever increasing marine debris problem.

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