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Boletín de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras - INVEMAR

Print version ISSN 0122-9761


GAVIO, Brigitte; VARGAS-LLANOS, July Paulin  and  MANCERA-PINEDA, José Ernesto. Trash in paradise: marine debris on the beaches of San Andrés Island, Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, Colombian Caribbean. Bol. Invest. Mar. Cost. [online]. 2022, vol.51, n.1, pp.37-52.  Epub Aug 01, 2022. ISSN 0122-9761.

San Andres Island is one of the main touristic places in Colombia, and its main attractions are its sandy beaches and the marine coastal ecosystems, such as coral reef and seagrass beds. However improper behavior of both residents and tourists on solid residue disposal may threaten not only the aesthetic of the island´s beaches, but also poses risk to marine life. The objective of this research was to assess the amount of litter on the main beaches of the island. We surveyed three popular beaches for ten weeks. We collected 9894 units of litter, equivalent to a weight of 23 212.47 g. Beach cleanliness was estimated using the Clean Coast Index, and two of the three sites resulted “extremely dirty”, while the third was classified as “dirty”. The majority of the litter was plastic (59.5 % of total weight), followed by glass (20.4 %). Due to the persistence and negative effects of solid waste on coastal fauna, it is necessary to improve the management of litter disposal, and improve educational programs for both residents and tourists, to increase their awareness on the problem.

Keywords : Clean Coast Index; Colombian Caribbean; plastic debris; beach cleanness..

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