The main objective of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) in European waters by 2020, according to 11 descriptors. Descriptor 10 is related to marine litter and envisages that the properties and quantities of marine litter are at a level that does not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. Even if GES was not achieved by 2020, the first MSFD implementation cycle filled many gaps in knowledge. Here we present the first data (2015-2018) on beach litter densities along Italian coasts and discuss lessons learnt and future perspectives. The beach litter median density was 477 items/100 m (interquartile range: 261-934 items/100 m), but subregional differences emerged both in terms of litter quantities and composition. The Adriatic Sea was the most polluted subregion (590 items/100 m), followed by the Western Mediterranean Sea (491 items/100 m) and the Ionian Sea and Central Mediterranean Sea subregion (274 items/100 m). A high presence of aquaculture-related litter (mainly mussel nets) characterised beaches in the Adriatic Sea. At the same time, the numbers of cotton bud sticks were extremely high in some beaches of the Western Mediterranean Sea. General litter (items discarded or left by the public on the coast or inland and carried by winds and rivers or objects originating from tourism and recreation at land or sea, poor waste management practices, etc.) was the most common litter typology (38.8%). The results of this study represent the first baseline to compare achievement towards GES in the next years and the efficacy of the program of measures which entered into force in 2016, concerning beach litter densities and composition. They also highlight the necessity of a joint effort for deploying harmonised marine litter monitoring methodologies across the European Member States to obtain comparable results. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Composition and abundance of macrolitter along the Italian coastline: The first baseline assessment within the european Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Fortibuoni T.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The main objective of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) in European waters by 2020, according to 11 descriptors. Descriptor 10 is related to marine litter and envisages that the properties and quantities of marine litter are at a level that does not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. Even if GES was not achieved by 2020, the first MSFD implementation cycle filled many gaps in knowledge. Here we present the first data (2015-2018) on beach litter densities along Italian coasts and discuss lessons learnt and future perspectives. The beach litter median density was 477 items/100 m (interquartile range: 261-934 items/100 m), but subregional differences emerged both in terms of litter quantities and composition. The Adriatic Sea was the most polluted subregion (590 items/100 m), followed by the Western Mediterranean Sea (491 items/100 m) and the Ionian Sea and Central Mediterranean Sea subregion (274 items/100 m). A high presence of aquaculture-related litter (mainly mussel nets) characterised beaches in the Adriatic Sea. At the same time, the numbers of cotton bud sticks were extremely high in some beaches of the Western Mediterranean Sea. General litter (items discarded or left by the public on the coast or inland and carried by winds and rivers or objects originating from tourism and recreation at land or sea, poor waste management practices, etc.) was the most common litter typology (38.8%). The results of this study represent the first baseline to compare achievement towards GES in the next years and the efficacy of the program of measures which entered into force in 2016, concerning beach litter densities and composition. They also highlight the necessity of a joint effort for deploying harmonised marine litter monitoring methodologies across the European Member States to obtain comparable results. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
2021
Baselines
Beach litter
MSFD
Mediterranean sea
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/26562
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