Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 797–806 | Cite as

Is central Croatian Adriatic Sea under plastic attack? Preliminary results of composition, abundance and sources of marine litter on three beaches

  • Melita MokosEmail author
  • Irene Zamora Martinez
  • Ivana Zubak


Marine litter is a worldwide problem. It impacts negatively marine environment, organisms, human health and coastal communities. In this research, abundance, composition and sources of marine litter (macro-debris > 2.5 cm) and beach cleanliness were assessed for three beaches in the central Croatian Adriatic Sea. Mean abundance for the studied region was 3.35 items/m2 and the highest recorded CCI value was 150. Most of the collected litter was made of artificial polymer material (93.86%), and main sources of litter were shoreline activities representing (31.68% of the total sample) and fishing and aquaculture representing (12.66% of the total sample). Land-based and sea-based sources accounted for 32.76% and 15.16%, respectively. Results from the present study provide another evidence of marine litter problem and high presence of plastic items in the marine environment of the Adriatic Sea. Presence of litter from different countries shows the internationality of marine litter problem which can only be solved by international collaborations and partnerships as well as by taking individual responsibility of all. Presence of the short-life single-use plastic items and the problems associated with them have been recognized in this study as most of the items collected were single-use items. High abundance of these items indicates not only their large use in everyday life, but also the lack of awareness of the general public about the environmental problem they cause. Moreover, the results obtained in this research imply the need for better waste management systems.


Marine litter Marine debris Plastics Beach Adriatic Sea 



The authors would like to thank Public Institution for Management of Protected Areas in the County of Zadar Natura Jadera and Telašćica Nature Park for their logistical support during this research.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights statement

Research did not involve human and/or animals, hence did not need any kind of consent.


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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Agronomy and AquacultureUniversity of ZadarZadarCroatia

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