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Assessment of marine debris on the Belgian Continental Shelf
Van Cauwenberghe, L.; Claessens, M.; Vandegehuchte, M.B.; Mees, J.; Janssen, C.R. (2013). Assessment of marine debris on the Belgian Continental Shelf. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 73(1): 161-169. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.05.026
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 248267 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Abundance; Composition; Plastics; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Marine debris; Southern North Sea; Microplastics

Authors  Top 
  • Van Cauwenberghe, L., more
  • Claessens, M., more
  • Vandegehuchte, M.B., more

Abstract
    A comprehensive assessment of marine litter in three environmental compartments of Belgian coastal waters was performed. Abundance, weight and composition of marine debris, including microplastics, was assessed by performing beach, sea surface and seafloor monitoring campaigns during two consecutive years. Plastic items were the dominant type of macrodebris recorded: over 95% of debris present in the three sampled marine compartments were plastic. In general, concentrations of macrodebris were quite high. Especially the number of beached debris reached very high levels: on average 6429 ± 6767 items per 100 m were recorded. Microplastic concentrations were determined to assess overall abundance in the different marine compartments of the Belgian Continental Shelf. In terms of weight, macrodebris still dominates the pollution of beaches, but in the water column and in the seafloor microplastics appear to be of higher importance: here, microplastic weight is approximately 100 times and 400 times higher, respectively, than macrodebris weight.

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