Fishing marine debris in a northeast Brazilian beach: Composition, abundance and tidal changes
This study aims to examine the composition and the spatial/tidal changes of marine debris caught with a fishing net during a fishery survey in two different areas of a sand beach at the northeast of Brazil. Samples were conducted weekly, at each moon phase, for two months using a beach seine net in the surf zone. Abundance of debris were estimate by swept area (items·km−1 and g·km−1). A total of 12 categories of debris were recorded. Plastic – both hard and soft types - was the most abundant debris category. Most fragments were classified as macro (20–100 mm) and mega debris (>100 mm). Significant differences (P < 0.05) between areas and tides were registered for plastic, metal and cloth. Spring tides were responsible for the high rates of marine debris found in the surf zone of Miramar beach. The results demonstrate the occurrence and abundance of litter in this fish nursery area and reinforce the need and importance of environmental protection and educational programs.