Plastic litter from shotgun ammunition on Danish coastlines – Amounts and provenance

Plastic litter from shotgun ammunition on Danish coastlines – Amounts and provenance

INTERNATIONAL MARINE LITTER DATABASE

Plastic litter from shotgun ammunition on Danish coastlines – Amounts and provenance

Niels Kanstrup, Thorsten J.S. Balsby,

Plastic litter from shotgun ammunition on Danish coastlines – Amounts and provenance,

EnvironmentalPollution, Volume 237, June 2018, Pages 601-610, ISSN 0269-7491,

Abstract:
Plastic litter in the marine environment is a major global issue.
Discarded plastic shotgun ammunition shells and discharged wads are an
unwelcome addition and feature among the top ten litter items found on
reference beaches in Denmark.

To understand this problem, its scale and origins, collections were made
by volunteers along Danish coastal shorelines. In all 3669 plastic
ammunition items were collected at 68 sites along 44.6 km of shoreline.
The collected items were scored for characteristic variables such as
gauge and length, shot type, and the legibility of text, the erosion,
and the presence of metallic components. Scores for characteristics were
related to the site, area, and season and possible influences discussed.

The prevalence of collected plastic shotgun litter ranges from zero to
41 items per 100 m with an average of 3.7 items per 100 m. Most
ammunition litter on Danish coasts originates from hunting on Danish
coastal waterbodies, but a small amount may come from further afield.
North Sea coasts are the most distinctive suggesting the possible
contribution of long distance drift as well as the likelihood that such
litter can persist in marine habitats for decades.

The pathway from initial discard to eventual wash-up and collection
depends on the physical properties of plastic components, marine tides
and currents, coastal topography and shoreline vegetation.

Judging from the disintegration of the cartridge and the wear and
decomposition of components, we conclude that there is a substantial
supply of polluting plastic ammunition materials that has and will
accumulate. These plastic items pose a hazard to marine ecosystems and
wash up on coasts for many years to come. We recommend that responsible
managers, hunters and ammunition manufacturers will take action now to
reduce the problem and, thereby, protect ecosystems, wildlife and the
sustainability of hunting.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l7766GcPdCFhMmOLBtkTJMLPuf5pVFGX
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.02.087.

(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749117351424)