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  • Uhrin et al. (2022). Towards a North Pacific long-term monitoring program for ocean plastic pollutio

  • 2022-09-08
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Towards a North Pacific long-term monitoring program for ocean plastic pollution: a systematic review and recommendations for shorelines

Amy V. Uhrin, Sunwook Hong, Hillary K. Burgess, Sehan Lim, Kyle  Dettloff

 

Abstract

Increased organized monitoring is key to improving our understanding of marine debris on shorelines. Shorelines are demonstrated sinks for marine debris to quantify debris often fail to capture and report core variables and survey design techniques to ensure study repeatability, comparability and to provide meaningful results. Here, we systematically review the available literature regarding marine debris distribution and abundance on shorelines of countries bordering the North Pacific Ocean (NPO), which are demonstrated to have unusually high marine debris abundance and diversity both at the ocean surface and stranded on shorelines. The majority of the 81 papers documenting shorelines debris in the NPO were studies that took place for less than one year (76.5%). Additionally, most sampling sites were visited only once (57.3%). Precise site locations (GPS coordinates) were provided in only 44.4% of the evaluated studies. Debris quantities were reported using nine different measurement units, with item counts per area and item counts per mass being most commonly reported for macro- and microplastics, respectively. Taken together, most of the reviewed studies could not be repeated by others given the information provided. We propse a series of guidelines with regard to marine debris shoreline sampling metrics, indicators, methods, and target goals in the NPO in order to improve comparability and repeatability. These follow the basic tenets of environmental survey design, which when not accounted for, can limit the applicability and value of large-scale shoreline monitoring efforts.

 

Keywords

Marine debris, Plastic pollution, Shoreline monitoring, North pacific ocean, PICES

 

Citation

Uhrin, Amy V., Sunwook Hong, Hillary K. Burgess, Sehan Lim, and Kyle Dettloff. 2022. “Towards a North Pacific Long-Term Monitoring Program for Ocean Plastic Pollution: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for Shorelines.” Environmental Pollution 310 (October): 119862. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119862. 

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