Daily accumulation rates of marine litter on the shores of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific Ocean
Barrera Lorca, Bárbara
Hinojosa Toledo, Iván Andrés
Zeballos Meneses, Hugo
DescriptionArtículo de publicación ISI
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Large amounts of floating litter accumulate in the subtropical gyres, and the shorelines of oceanic islands in the vicinity of these accumulation zones receive large amounts of litter. The dynamics of marine litter arrival were evaluated on a small pocket beach on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) between November 2016 and June 2017 over a total time period of 190 days. Plastics dominated the stranded litter, with the majority of the items showing indications to come from the high seas fisheries operating in the South Pacific. Litter accumulation rates varied between 0 and 1.90 items m−1 day−1, and were highest following days of strong winds from northern directions. The results indicate that the shores of Rapa Nui are exposed to continuous input of plastic litter from the contaminated waters of the subtropical gyre, which is intensified during strong onshore winds.