Citizen scientists reveal: marine litter pollutes Arctic beaches and affects wild life


Contact
Melanie.Bergmann [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Recent data indicate accumulation areas of marine litter in Arctic waters and significant increases over time. Beaches on remote Arctic islands may be sinks for marine litter and reflect pollution levels of the surrounding waters particularly well. We provide the first quantitative data from surveys carried out by citizen scientists on six beaches of Svalbard. Litter quantities recorded by cruise tourists varied from 9-524 g m-2 and were similar to those from densely populated areas. Plastics accounted for >80% of the overall litter, most of which originated from fisheries. Photographs provided by citizens show deleterious effects of beach litter on Arctic wildlife, which is already under strong pressure from global climate change. Our study highlights the potential of citizen scientists to provide scientifically valuable data on the pollution of sensitive remote ecosystems. The results stress once more that current legislative frameworks are insufficient to tackle the pollution of Arctic ecosystems.



Item Type
Article
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
45259
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.09.055

Cite as
Bergmann, M. , Lutz, B. , Tekman, M. B. and Gutow, L. (2017): Citizen scientists reveal: marine litter pollutes Arctic beaches and affects wild life , Marine Pollution Bulletin . doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.09.055


Download
[img]
Preview
PDF
Bergmann_et_al_MBP_2017.pdf

Download (770kB) | Preview
Cite this document as:

Share


Citation

Research Platforms

Campaigns


Actions
Edit Item Edit Item