Marine debris in mangroves and on the seabed: Largely-neglected litter problems

While the scarcity of up-to-date data on beach litter contamination in the Caribbean has been stressed in several recent studies, we here point to the even greater paucity of published work on litter in mangroves and on the shallow tropical seafloor. During collection of baseline data on beach litter contamination on the Southeastern Caribbean island of Bonaire we also collected preliminary data that may serve to highlight the need for further studies on these largely neglected litter issues.


Marine litter contamination is a wide-spread problem and considered to be one of the most serious threats to sustainable use of the region’s marine and coastal resources. Mangrove litter and shallow submerged litter contamination figure significantly in Bonaire and we have made practical recommendations to help address these problems in a separate report to government. In presenting this synopsis here, we aim to draw scientific attention to these largely neglected facets of the litter problem and hope to see further studies to assess the extent of these problems in the Wider Caribbean.

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