Water, Air and Soil Pollution 159: 325-337


Influences on the distribution of marine debris on the seafloor of shallow coastal areas in Greece (eastern Mediterranean)

Stelios Katsanevakis* and Anastasia Katsarou 

Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, School of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Athens, Greece



The abundance and composition of marine benthic debris was investigated in shallow coastal areas of Greece (eastern Mediterranean). The mean total density of marine debris in the areas surveyed was 15 items per 1000m2 and ranged from 0 to 251 items per 1000m2, with plastics dominating. Much higher marine debris densities were found in this study than those found in most studies surveying the continental shelf or the deep seafloor, indicating that pollution with marine debris is more intense in coastal areas. Greater abundance of marine debris was found in bays than in open areas. Artisanal fishing activities were found to significantly contribute to marine pollution with debris. In the Saronicos Gulf, a densely populated and highly industrialized area, the abundance of marine debris was higher than the rest of the Greek areas surveyed.


Keywords: Greece; litter; marine debris; Mediterranean Sea; plastic; pollution; seabed; visual census