Anthropogenic "Litter" and macrophyte detritus in the deep Northern Gulf of Mexico. Academic Article uri icon


  • A deep-sea trawl survey of the Northern Gulf of Mexico has documented the abundance and diversity of human-generated litter and natural detrital plant material, from the outer margin of the continental shelf out to the Sigsbee abyssal plain. Plastics were the most frequently encountered type of material. Litter and debris were encountered more frequently in the eastern than in the western GoM. Land-derived plant material was located primarily within the head of the Mississippi Canyon, whereas ocean-derived plant material was spread evenly throughout the NE GoM. Human discards were principally from ships offshore. Some of the material was contained in metal cans that sank to the sea floor, probably in order to conform to international agreements that prohibit disposal of toxic material and plastics. The Mississippi Canyon was a focal point for litter, perhaps due to topography, currents or proximity to shipping lanes.

published proceedings

  • Mar Pollut Bull

altmetric score

  • 5

author list (cited authors)

  • Wei, C., Rowe, G. T., Nunnally, C. C., & Wicksten, M. K.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Wei, Chih-Lin||Rowe, Gilbert T||Nunnally, Clifton C||Wicksten, Mary K

publication date

  • May 2012