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Title: Litter Windrows in the South-East Coast of the Bay of Biscay: An Ocean Process Enabling Effective Active Fishing for Litter
Authors: Ruiz, Irene; Basurko, Oihane C.; Rubio, Anna; Delpey, Matthias and Granado, Igor; Declerck, Amandine; Mader, Julien; Cozar, Andres
Abstract: Large scale convergence regions of floating marine litter are commonly observed in semi-enclosed seas as the Bay of Biscay. However, clean-up activities on such accumulation regions are limited by the spread of the large-size floating litter on the sea surface. Data gathered by a small-scale fishing vessel devoted to active fishing for floating litter activities during the spring and summer of 2018 reveals that the linear streaks of high concentration of floating litter (so-called litter ``windrows��) are common accumulation structures in the south-east coast of the Bay of Biscay. The random search of litter windrows for their collection through surface tows of macro-nets was proved to be an effective action for floating litter mitigation. A total of 196 tows collected 16.2 tons of floating marine litter in 68 working days. Most of the litter windrows were around 1 km length and, on average, accumulated 77.75 kg of floating marine litter. Fishing, shipping and aquaculture sectors were the source of 35\% of the 4,130 litter items analyzed (55\% in weight of the sourced items), and plastic was the most common type of material (96\% in terms of items). A better understanding of the phenomenon of the litter windrows, capable to guide clean-up efforts in space and time, would provide a considerable improvement in the efficiency of mitigation actions to reduce the marine litter pollution. The observations of litter windrows in the coastal area of the south-east of the Bay of Biscay demonstrate the key role of submesoscale processes in the distribution of FML. The present work provides a thorough description of floating litter windrows in nature, which it was non-existent to date. The results are the kind of proof necessary to boost the research addressed on the submesoscale aggregations of FML. Coupling litter windrows observations with remote-sensing technology and high-resolution modeling techniques offer great opportunities for the mitigation actions against marine litter.
Keywords: floating marine litter; litter windrows; Bay of Biscay; active fishing for litter; coastal integrated management; LIFE LEMA; PLASTIC DEBRIS; MARINE LITTER; RIVER
Issue Date: 2020
Type: Article
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00308
E-ISSN: 2296-7745
Funder: EU's LIFE Program [LIFE15 ENV/ES/000252]
EU's H2020 Program [871153]
Department of Economic Development and Infrastructures of the Basque Government
PLASTREND (BBVA Foundation)BBVA Foundation
MIDaS (AEI/FEDER/UE) [CTM2016-77106-R]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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