DOI: 10.14466/CefasDataHub.96

CLiP Belize Marine Litter Abundance and Composition 2019


This dataset contains 2 csv files. The file BelizeMarineLitterData.csv contains data on litter found on marine beaches, river banks and along city canals in Belize between May and June 2019. The number of items and the weight in kg is reported for each litter category. The list of litter categories was obtain merging OSPAR and Tangaroa Blue protocols with the addition of region-specific items. Item categories marked with '*' were added during the operations in South Pacific, while item categories marked with '' were added during the operations in Belize. An array of metadata (location names, survey date, GPS coordinates in decimal degrees) is also reported per each data point. The file BelizeMarineLitterMetadata.csv reports other metadata collected during the surveys following the OSPAR protocol to describe factors potentially influencing litter characteristics. A READ-ME text file contains a legend of the columns of the csv files. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines marine litter as 'any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment'. The data were collected on six sandy beaches, 3 river banks and 2 city storm canals in Belize between May and June 2019. Marine litter items were removed along linear transect with the maximum length of 100 m (actual length stated in the comments/metadata) between the high tide line and the back of the beach or between the high water mark of the rivers and the back o the banks. The 'land-side' limit was identified by change in topography and/or vegetation. The items are divided in 11 material categories (Plastic, Rubber, Textile, Paper, Wood, Metal, Glass, Ceramic, Sanitary, Medical, Other) and 168 1tem categories (specific items). The list of categories was obtained by merging protocols from OSPAR and Tangaroa Blue and was expanded with country-specific items found more frequently during initial clean-ups (the number of items for these latter categories had been annotated even before their official inclusion in the list). The country-specific categories are marked by '*' or '' after their name according to whether they were added for the South Pacific or Belize fieldwork operations respectively. Metadata were collected between the high tide line and the back of the beach as per OSPAR protocol. All data were collected by or under the supervision of Cefas personnel, but some trainees helped during some of the activities. GPS positions at the start and end of the transects are reported for each activity. Clean-ups undertaken on the same beach targeted the same transect with a higher accuracy than GPS instrumentation, so the GPS coordinates are the same. All items were removed from the beach and properly disposed of and recycled (where possible).


Silburn, Briony / Preston-Whyte, Fiona / Meakins, Bryony / Russell, Josie / Kohler, Peter / Binetti, Umberto / Briggs, Kyle / Whomersley, Paul / Maes, Thomas / Marsh, Maija / Novak, Emma / Andrews, Gilbert / Gillett, Shanee / Jimenez, Erwin / Sanchez , Henry / Can, Remy / Myvette, Jermaine / Usher, Denny


Litter Abundance and Type / Marine Litter

Start Date


End Date


Year Published





Cefas Marine Litter Team et al (2020). CLiP Belize Marine Litter Abundance and Composition 2019. Cefas, UK. V2. doi: