Malaysia has a long coastline and is well known for its beautiful beaches which play different roles, depending on the characteristics and location. With increasing population and rapid development, the beaches are experiencing threats from pollution. One of the most visible threats is due to solid waste disposal. A scientific quantitative dataset of marine debris in Malaysia is, however, very rare. Therefore, a study on marine debris was conducted on two beaches in Port Dickson, Malaysia, from January to March 2010. The objective of the study was to compare the density of waste on two selected beaches with different economic activities.Teluk Kemang and Pasir Panjang are recreational and fishing beaches, respectively. Pasir Panjang received at least 2 units of debris for every 2 m 2 (0.495 ± 0.108 items m -2), weighing 46.079 ± 12.507 g m -2. Debris found in Teluk Kemang was lower than that of Pasir Panjang with 1 unit of waste for every 2 m 2 (0.262 ± 0.045 items m -2), weighing 2.067 ± 1.238 g m -2. Based on the number of items, plastics were the most abundant type of debris at 64% in Teluk Kemang and 46% in Pasir Panjang. In terms of weight, paper was higher (48%) than plastic (43%) in Teluk Kemang, while the highest percentage of debris found on Pasir Panjang beach was bulky waste (54%). The number of items and weight of debris were higher in Pasir Panjang due to the abundance of huge and heavy abandoned nets from fishing activities left on the beach. Daily clean-ups of Teluk Kemang, a popular recreational beach, contributed to significantly lower amounts of debris found there. On the whole, types of waste found on both beaches were similar. However, the percentage and amount of each waste's type varied between the two beaches. The results indicated that the density of waste is highly dependable on the economic activities of the relevant beaches. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- fishing beach,
- marine pollution,
- recreational beach,
- solid waste
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