A decade later, reviewing floating marine debris in Northern Chilean Patagonia

C. Ahrendt, M. DeCoite, J. Pulgar, K. Pozo, C. Galbán-Malagón, I. A. Hinojosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Floating marine debris (FMD) were abundantly reported in the Northern Chilean Patagonia in 2009 where sea-based activities (mussel and salmon aquaculture) are responsible for most of them. Identifying the sources of FMD is important to take the necessary actions to diminish their abundance. In 2019 eleven transects were opportunistically conducted to evaluate the abundance, spatial distribution and composition of FMD in the same area, and to compare them with the previous study using the same methodology. FMD identified were classified into the same six categories from the previous study, however “Others” category were now the dominant one indicating that new pollutants have been increasing during the last decade. Inside the “others” category, plastics buoy and other floating devices, that normally are used by the salmon aquaculture, were the main items. Similarly than the previous study, styrofoam and domestic plastics were also the other most abundant items. In general, also, an increase in abundance compared with the previous study was found. The highest abundances were similarly found in the “Golfo de Corcovado” zone ranging from 50 to 230 items km−2. Our results, as well as the previous study, confirm that sea-based activities are still responsible for the FMD found in the Northern Patagonia. To avoid the origin of this contamination it is urgent to implement public policies that effectively reduce FMD, and hold the aquaculture industries responsible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112372
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Aquaculture
  • Chile
  • Floating marine debris
  • Patagonia
  • Plastics
  • Styrofoam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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