Using citizen science data to assess the difference in marine debris loads on reefs in Queensland, Australia

Bauer-Civiello, Anne, Loder, Jennifer, and Hamann, Mark (2018) Using citizen science data to assess the difference in marine debris loads on reefs in Queensland, Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 135. pp. 458-465.

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Abstract

The prevalence of marine debris in global oceans is negatively impacting the marine environment. In Australia, marine debris has been an increasing concern for sensitive marine environments, such as coral reefs. Citizen science can contribute data to explore patterns of subtidal marine debris loads. This study uses data from Reef Check Australia to describe patterns of debris abundance on reef tourism sites in two Queensland regions, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Southeast Queensland (SEQ). Debris was categorized into three groups, fishing line, fishing net, and general rubbish. Overall, debris abundance across reefs was relatively low (average 0.5-3.3 items per survey (400 m(2))), but not absent on remote reefs surveyed in the GBR region. Highest debris loads were recorded in SEQ near cities and high use areas. These results indicate the presence of marine debris on remote and urban reefs, and the applicability of using citizen science to monitor debris abundance.

Item ID: 56123
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: marine debris, litter, pollution, fishing line, subtidal, coral reefs
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2018 08:00
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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