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The anthropogenic marine debris, especially abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG), represents a rising concern, because of its potential harmful impact on the marine animal forests. We carried out 13 km of video recordings, by means of a remotely operated vehicle, from 10 to 210 m depth, in an anthropised area of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Mediterranean Sea). This site, for its high ecological importance and biodiversity value, has been identified for the establishment of a new marine protected area (MPA). The aim of this paper was to assess marine litter abundance and its effects on the benthic fauna. The debris density, in the study area, ranged from 0.24 to 8.01 items/100 m, with an average of 3.49 (±0.59) items/100 m. The derelict fishing gear, mainly fishing lines, were the main source of marine debris, contributing 77.9% to the overall litter. The impacts of debris on the benthic fauna were frequently recorded, with 28.5% of the litter entangling corals and impacting habitats of conservation concern. These impacts were exclusively caused by the derelict fishing gear (91.2% by longlines), and the highest percentage (49.1%) of ALDFG causing impacts was observed from 41 to 80 m depth, in the coralligenous biocenosis. The results of the present study will help the fulfilment of "harm" monitoring, as recommended by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the UN Environment/MAP Regional Plan on the marine litter management in the Mediterranean Sea. Regarding the actions to reduce the derelict fishing gear, preventive measures are usually preferred instead of the extensive removals based on cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The establishment of a new MPA in the area could be a good solution to reduce ALDFG, resulting in the improvement of the ecological status of this coastal area.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
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A historical and cultural entity dispersed across the wide geographical area of Europe, as opposed to the East, Asia, and Africa. The term was used by scholars through the late medieval period. Thereafter, with the impact of colonialism and the transmission of cultures, Western World was sometimes expanded to include the Americas. (Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)
The MEDITERRANEAN SEA, the MEDITERRANEAN ISLANDS, and the countries bordering on the sea collectively.
A country located in north Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, with a southern border with Western Sahara, eastern border with Algeria. The capital is Rabat.
A country in western Europe bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea, and the countries of Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the principalities of Andorra and Monaco, and by the duchy of Luxembourg. Its capital is Paris.
Persons with loss of vision such that there is an impact on activities of daily living.