Characteristics (abundance, type and origin) of beach litter on the Galician coast (NW Spain) from 2001 to 2010


  • Jesús Gago Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
  • Fernando Lahuerta Ollalomar
  • Pilar Antelo Ollalomar



beach litter, types, sources, Galician coast, NW Iberian Peninsula


In order to assess the situation of beach litter on the Galician coast (NW Spain), we conducted a seasonal series of sampling on three beaches: A Lanzada, Baldaio and O Rostro. A total of 79 surveys were conducted from 2001 to 2010 on a stretch of 100 m and a stretch of 1 km. A total of 37862 beach litter items were counted and classified on the 100-m stretch and 7845 on the 1-km stretch. The average annual value of litter items for the 100-m beach stretch was 1016±633, 88±31 and 332±183; for the 1-km stretch, the average value of litter items was 163±87, 42±31 and 81±38, for A Lanzada, Baldaio and O Rostro beaches, respectively. The most common element found in beach litter was made of plastic, with average percent of 63, 38 and 83 for A Lanzada, Baldaio and O Rostro, respectively. We found that the main source of beach litter was the fishing and aquaculture sector, with an average percent value of 23, 14 and 38 for A Lanzada, Baldaio and O Rostro, respectively.


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How to Cite

Gago J, Lahuerta F, Antelo P. Characteristics (abundance, type and origin) of beach litter on the Galician coast (NW Spain) from 2001 to 2010. Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2014Mar.30 [cited 2024May21];78(1):125-34. Available from:




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