CZMAI participated in the second phase of The Major Aspects of Coastal Environment Management Workshop in Chile, scheduled March 5 to 8, 2018. This was a follow up to the initial phase that took place in Kingston, Jamaica where Mr Victor Sho (Sport Fishing Coordinator) and Mr Gilbert Andrews (Water Quality Lab Technician) of CZMAI presented their findings from a pilot project on Marine Litter and Micro Plastics Pollution in Belize, a research which was conducted by Mr Sho, Mr Andrews, Mr Samir Rosado (Coastal Planner) and Mr Ellis Requena (Water Quality Lab Assistant and Boat Captain).
The Major Aspects of Coastal Environment Management Workshop was hosted by The Directorate General of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (DIRECTEMAR) together with the Chilean International Cooperation Agency. The workshop was geared towards assisting CARICOM nations in developing projects to evaluate the impacts of marine litter and micro plastics in their home countries. Furthermore, participants will be given a firsthand experience on how the issue is being tackled in Chile along with guidance from international experts in Marine litter and micro plastics.
Plastics Pollution in the ocean is an area of growing concern. Recent research has described areas of the open oceans where plastics litter is accumulating in the five oceanic gyres of the world oceanographic features have concentrated this material.
The team from CZMAI focused their study on the density of micro plastic and marine litter at Goff’s Caye (island located southeast of Belize City) and along inland locations in Belize City. These sites were sampled for both marine litter and micro plastics using 3mm and 5mm quadrant respectively. After the sampling was carried out, the necessary data was collected and analyzed. There is a need for future research in this area since this pilot project did not examine the entire situation of Belize regarding marine litter and micro plastics.