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Gutow, Lars (2018): Marine litter at the sea surface and the seafloor of the SE North Sea. Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Gutow, Lars; Ricker, Marcel; Holstein, Jan M; Dannheim, Jennifer; Stanev, Emil V; Wolff, Joerg-Olaf (2018): Distribution and trajectories of floating and benthic marine macrolitter in the south-eastern North Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 131, 763-772,

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In coastal waters the identification of sources, trajectories and deposition sites of marine litter is often hampered by the complex oceanography of shallow shelf seas. We conducted a multi-annual survey on litter at the sea surface and on the seafloor in the south-eastern North Sea. Bottom trawling was identified as a major source of marine litter. Oceanographic modelling revealed that the distribution of floating litter in the North Sea is largely determined by the site of origin of floating objects whereas the trajectories are strongly influenced by wind drag. Methods adopted from species distribution modelling indicated that resuspension of benthic litter and near-bottom transport processes strongly influence the distribution of litter on the seafloor. Major sink regions for floating marine litter were identified at the west coast of Denmark and in the Skagerrak. Our results may support the development of strategies to reduce the pollution of the North Sea.
Median Latitude: 54.835714 * Median Longitude: 5.590664 * South-bound Latitude: 53.655670 * West-bound Longitude: 3.385000 * North-bound Latitude: 55.905330 * East-bound Longitude: 8.324670
Date/Time Start: 2006-07-25T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2017-04-01T10:17:00
Multi-annual survey on marine litter in the SE North Sea. Floating litter at the sea surface was quantified by ship-based visual surveys. Litter on the seafloor was quantified using a 2 m-beam trawl. Data were collected at different seasons from 2006 to 2016. Protocols give geographic positions of surface transects, beam trawl hols single litter items collected. Litter items are described and classified.
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