Skip to main content Accessibility help

The preliminary assessment of abundance and composition of marine beach debris in the northern Persian Gulf, Bandar Abbas City, Iran

  • Jaleh Sarafraz (a1), Mahdi Rajabizadeh (a2) (a3) and Ehsan Kamrani (a4)


Marine debris is a major challenge threatening ocean and coastal environment with no easy solution in coming years. The problem is totally manmade and extendeds to coastal areas around the world. The accumulation of marine debris is largely due to lack of awareness and environmental education among the public reinforced with mismanagement of municipal litter in coastal cities. Iran has about 2415 km of coastlines in the north and south of the country that suffer severely from a marine debris problem. Despite the great scale of the problem that leads to the shutdown of some beaches to beachgoers, there are no documented data on the abundance, composition and sources of marine debris dispersed on beaches. With the cooperation of marine biology student volunteers, we surveyed beaches at two scales, 100 m and 1 km searching for litter in varying ranges. The results revealed that the most common items are made of plastic/polystyrene. Tourism and recreational activities are responsible for more than 90% of litter production on the study beach. Fisheries and aquaculture are the second source of most abundant marine litter found on the beach with considerable distance from tourism activities. We conclude that lack of education about the consequences of marine litter is the main reason for marine debris at the study beach. Another reason is related to rapid construction of coastal areas and development of coastal cities with no proper infrastructure to manage municipal littering.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to:J. Sarafraz, Ghent University, Marine Biology, Krijgslaan 281 Campus Sterre – S8 B-9000 Ghent, Belgium email:


Hide All
Andrady, A.L. (2011) Microplastics in the marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62, 15961605.
Barnes, D.K.A. (2005) Remote islands reveal rapid rise of southern hemisphere sea debris. Directions in Science 5, 915921.
Barnes, D.K., Galgani, F., Thompson, R.C. and Barlaz, M. (2009) Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 19851998.
Browne, M.A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T.S. and Lowe, D.M. (2008) Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to the circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis. Environmental Science and Technology 42, 50265031.
Cheshire, A., Adler, E., Barbière, J., Cohen, Y., Evans, S., Jarayabhand, S. and Westphalen, G. (2009) UNEP/IOC Guidelines on survey and monitoring of marine litter. UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 186, IOC 41.
Cole, M., Webb, H., Lindeque, P.K., Fileman, E.S., Halsband, C. and Galloway, T.S. (2014) Isolation of microplastics in biota-rich seawater samples and marine organisms. Scientific Reports 4, 18.
Debrot, A.O., Meesters, H.W.G., Bron, P.S. and de León, R. (2013) Marine debris in mangroves and on the seabed: largely-neglected litter problems. Marine Pollution Bulletin 1, 1.
Derraik, J.G. (2002) The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin 44, 842852.
Edyvane, K.S., Dalgetty, A., Hone, P.W., Higham, J.S. and Wace, N.M. (2004) Long-term marine litter monitoring in the remote Great Australian Bight, South Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 48, 10601075.
Eriksson, C., Burton, H., Fitch, S., Schulz, M. and van den Hoff, J. (2013) Daily accumulation rates of marine debris on sub-Antarctic island beaches. Marine Pollution Bulletin 66, 199208.
Fisher, W.B. (ed.) (1968) The land of Iran. Volume 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hidalgo-Ruz, V. and Thiel, M. (2013) Distribution and abundance of small plastic debris on beaches in the SE Pacific (Chile): a study supported by a citizen science project. Marine Environmental Research 87, 1218.
Ivar do Sul, J.A. and Costa, M.F. (2014) The present and future of microplastic pollution in the marine environment. Environmental Pollution 185, 352364.
Laist, D.W. (1997) Impacts of marine debris: entanglement of marine life in marine debris including a comprehensive list of species with entanglement and ingestion records. In Coe, J.M. and Rogers, D.B. (eds) Marine Debris. New York, NY: Springer, pp. 99139.
Moore, C.J. (2008) Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat. Environmental Research 108, 131139.
Moore, C.J., Moore, S.L., Leecaster, M.K. and Weisberg, S.B. (2001a) A comparison of plastic and plankton in the North Pacific central gyre. Marine Pollution Bulletin 42, 12971300.
Moore, E., Lyday, S., Roletto, J., Litle, K., Parrish, J.K., Nevins, H. and Kell, S. (2009) Entanglements of marine mammals and seabirds in central California and the north-west coast of the United States 2001–2005. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58, 10451051.
Moore, S.L., Gregorio, D., Carreon, M., Weisberg, S.B. and Leecaster, M.K. (2001b) Composition and distribution of beach debris in Orange County, California. Marine Pollution Bulletin 42, 241245.
OSPAR (2007b) OSPAR pilot project on monitoring marine beach litter. Monitoring of marine litter in the OSPAR region. Publication No. 306/2007. ISBN 978-1-905859-45-0.
Ramos, J.A., Barletta, M., Costa, M.F. (2012) Ingestion of nylon threads by Gerreidae while using a tropical estuary as foraging grounds. Aquatic Biology 17, 2934.
Rios, L.M., Moore, C. and Jones, P.R. (2007) Persistent organic pollutants carried by synthetic polymers in the ocean environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin 54, 12301237.
Ryan, P.G., Moore, C.J., van Franeker, J.A. and Moloney, C.L. (2009) Monitoring the abundance of plastic debris in the marine environment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 19992012.
Sheavly, S.B. and Register, K.M. (2007) Marine debris & plastics: environmental concerns, sources, impacts and solutions. Journal of Polymers and the Environment 15, 301305.
Sheppard, C., Al-Husiani, M., Al-Jamali, F., Al-Yamani, F., Baldwin, R., Bishop, J. and Zainal, K. (2010) The Gulf: a young sea in decline. Marine Pollution Bulletin 60, 1338.
Teuten, E.L., Saquing, J.M., Knappe, D.R., Barlaz, M.A., Jonsson, S., Björn, A. and Takada, H. (2009) Transport and release of chemicals from plastics to the environment and to wildlife. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 20272045.
Thiel, M., Hinojosa, I.A., Miranda, L., Pantoja, J.F., Rivadeneira, M.M. and Vásquez, N. (2013) Anthropogenic marine debris in the coastal environment: a multi-year comparison between coastal waters and local shores. Marine Pollution Bulletin 71, 307316.
Thompson, R.C., Moore, C.J., Vom Saal, F.S. and Swan, S.H. (2009) Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364, 21532166.
UNEP (2009) Marine litter: a global challenge. Prepared by Jeftic, Ljubomir, Sheavly, Seba, and Adler, Ellik; edited by Meith, Nikki. Nairobi: UNEP.
Van Franeker, J.A., Blaize, C., Danielsen, J., Fairclough, K., Gollan, J., Guse, N. and Turner, D.M. (2011) Monitoring plastic ingestion by the northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis in the North Sea. Environmental Pollution 159, 26092615.


The preliminary assessment of abundance and composition of marine beach debris in the northern Persian Gulf, Bandar Abbas City, Iran

  • Jaleh Sarafraz (a1), Mahdi Rajabizadeh (a2) (a3) and Ehsan Kamrani (a4)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed