Composition and abundance of benthic marine debris were investigated during three bottom trawl surveys in inlet and offshore locations surrounding Kodiak Island, Alaska, 1994-1996. Debris items were primarily plastic and metal regardless of trawl location. Plastic bait jars, fishing line, and crab pots were the most common fishery-related debris items and were encountered in large amounts in inlets (20-25 items km-2), but were less abundant outside of inlets (4.5-11 items km-2). Overall density of debris was also significantly greater in inlets than outside of inlets. Plastic debris densities in inlets ranged 22-31.5 items km-2, 7.8-18.8 items km-2 outside of inlets. Trawls in inlets contained almost as much metal debris as plastic debris. Density of metal debris ranged from 21.2 to 23.7 items km-2 in inlets, a maximum of 2.7 items km-2 outside of inlets. Inlets around the town of Kodiak had the highest densities of fishery-related and total benthic debris. Differences in benthic debris density between inlets and outside of inlets and differences by area may be due to differences in fishing activity and water circulation patterns. At the current reduced levels of fishing activity, however, yearly monitoring of benthic debris appears unnecessary. Copyright (C) 1999.
Additional publication details
Benthic marine debris, with an emphasis on fishery-related items, surrounding Kodiak Island, Alaska, 1994-1996