Home Institution

California Lutheran University

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


Plastic pollution has become an anthropogenic crisis worldwide. In the Stone Town Harbor area in particular, consumerism, population growth, tourism and a deficient municipal waste management system contribute to alarming amounts of mismanaged plastic that enter the ocean. This is devastating for the diverse marine ecosystem that provides valuable resources to its flora and fauna and to it human inhabitants. In this study, micro-plastic at the sea surface as well as plastic on coastal beaches was quantified to determine the effects of plastic pollution in the area by use of a standard plankton net methodology. This study contributed to the first set of baseline information regarding plastic at this location. It was determined that there are approximately 172,061.01 micro-plastic floating particles at the sea surface in the Stone Town Harbor area. Micro-plastic was found in 94% of sea surface samples and plastic was found in 64.76% of coastal beach survey quadrats. Results suggest that the population size in this coastal environment is proportional to the micro- and macro-plastic abundance in the area. Furthermore, if the population of Stone Town limited single-use plastic, it would greatly mitigate plastic waste concentration, including by up to 43%. This study will contribute to plastic waste awareness as well as offer recommendations for more successful waste management strategies the help conserve the marine ecosystem.


African Studies | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Sciences


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