Plastic waste affects several coastal and marine ecosystems in the world. In addition to ecological impacts, plastic pollution can damage marine ecosystem services. For example, coastal fishing can be drastically affected by plastic pollution through losses in fisheries production and marine biodiversity, which may lead to social and economic injuries to local traditional populations. In a citizen science context, our study aimed to assess the plastic wastes caught by artisanal fishermen from Copacabana Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in their fishing nets during everyday activities in coastal areas. Until now, 30 kg of solid wastes were caught by artisanal fishermen using gillnets, in which plastics represented 77% ( 23 kg). Each gillnet caught close to 3.83 kg of plastics and close to 1kg of plastics were collected by fishing hour. Regarding the most frequently found plastics, items such as plastic bags, disposable cups, and bottles are included in the list. Therefore, our study evidences a drastic situation of plastic pollution in marine ecosystems of the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro city and highlights the negative effects of marine plastic pollution on fisheries and socio-economic aspects of a traditional population of artisanal fishermen.
Is it plastic or fish ? Plastic wastes caught by artisanal fishermen from the fishing association at copacabana beach (rio de janeiro, brazil)