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Influence Of Wind On Floating Debris Distribution In The Balearic Islands


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L. Martinez-Ribes, G. Basterretxea, L. Arqueros, A. Jordi, T. Estrany, J. M. Aguilò & J. Tintoré


In this work we analyse the distribution of floatable debris around the Balearics (Spain) during the summer of 2005 (June-September). Litter abundance and distribution was obtained from the registers of 40 cleaning-ships operating daily around the archipelago. A total of 133.671 Kg. of debris was collected in the coastal waters of Mallorca, and the main component was wood. Different scenarios of litter dispersal are analysed at selected coastal bays depending on wind direction. Keywords: Balearics, Mediterranean Sea, floating debris, cleaning, wind effect, tourism. 1 Introduction The economy of the Balearic Islands is based on the tourism sector, and tourism activities are mainly related to the recreational use of the coast. Preserving the quality of the coastal waters is, consequently, a major objective of the local government. As part of the maintenance activities carried out in the coastal environment, 40 cleaning boats sweep the 1,400 km of coastline, collecting floating debris during high tourism season (June to September). This marine litter program requires a strong human effort and an expenditure exceeding 3.5 M€. Cleaning activities are paralleled by a scientific program aimed to detect the origin and distribution of marine debris. It is believed that scientifically based


Balearics, Mediterranean Sea, floating debris, cleaning, wind effect, tourism.