At the beginning of February, the Management Agency of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) carried out a series of beach litter surveys across Zakynthos Island in the framework of Plastic Busters MPAs project.

The beach litter surveys were carried out using the protocol adopted within the project in order to ensure a harmonized collection of fit-for-purpose data. Both citizens and marine litter experts were involved in the surveys and recorded the amount and types of marine litter items. Macro- (>2.5 cm) and meso-litter (between 0.5-2.5 cm) were collected; while also sediment samples for micro-litter (<0.5 cm) analysis were taken ere.

A total of six beaches (Crystal, Vrontonero, Keri, Tsilivi, Alykes and Xigia) within the boundaries of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and the east of the island were selected for the surveys.

The results for macro-litter are presented in the table below:

 

Items collected

Total weight (Kg)

Plastic (%)

Crystal

586

9

88

Vrontonero

589

25

91

Keri

685

32

78

Tsilivi

1058

11

95

Alykes

7013

17

98

Xigia

1220

3

95

total

11151

97

 

The results will help the Management Agency of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) to identify the sources of the different litter items (poor waste management practices, tourism and recreational activities, fisheries and aquaculture, shipping…).

Information on the quantities, composition and sources of marine litter provides a useful tool for MPA managers in the fight against the marine litter threat and allows to identify targeted measures to tackle the problem at its source.