Baseline assessment of coastal water quality, in Vanuatu, South Pacific: insights gained from in-situ sampling

Devlin, Michelle, Smith, Andy, Graves, Carolyn A., Petus, Caroline, Tracey, Dieter, Maniel, Michael, Hooper, Eryn, Kotra, Kryshna, Samie, Erie, Loubser, David, and Lyons, Brett P. (2020) Baseline assessment of coastal water quality, in Vanuatu, South Pacific: insights gained from in-situ sampling. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160. 111651.

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Nearshore deterioration of water quality in Pacific coastal waters is a growing problem, associated with increasing urban and industrial sewage discharges, and agricultural runoff. Published water quality studies in the Pacific region are limited in both number and scope, making it difficult to resolve the extent of the issue or quantify the variability of water quality across Pacific islands and countries. This study collected water quality measurements over three years in the coastal waters around the Island of Efate (Vanuatu) with majority of work carried out in Port Vila, its capital. Port Vila is the key urban centre for Vanuatu where the increasing population and pollution inputs are placing substantial pressure on the coastal environment. Highest concentrations of dissolved nutrients and suspended sediments were measured adjacent or near the urban drains that enter the coastal areas along the capital's seafront, highlighting many of the issues around anthropogenic inputs are linked to the increasing urbanisation in Port Vila Bay. We provide baseline data that explores variability of coastal water quality and these types of datasets for Pacific islands are a first step towards facilitating development of long-term monitoring programmes and informing coastal zone management decision making.

Item ID: 67647
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Water quality, Eutrophication, Human health, Vanuatu, Pacific, Remote sensing, Commonwealth marine economies
Copyright Information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Funders: UK Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme
Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 00:54
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment @ 40%
40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401304 Photogrammetry and remote sensing @ 30%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4515 Pacific Peoples environmental knowledges > 451506 Pacific Peoples land and water management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180505 Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition @ 100%
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