Remove and clean-up shoreline waste disposal sites

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study examined the effects of removing and cleaning-up shoreline waste disposal sites on subtidal benthic invertebrates. The study was in the Southern Ocean (Antarctica).



  • Overall community composition (1 study): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in the Southern Ocean found that after removing and cleaning-up a disused waste disposal site, invertebrate community composition changed, and no further negative impacts were detected, but communities remained different to natural sites.
  • Overall richness/diversity (1 study): One replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in the Southern Ocean found that after removing and cleaning-up a disused waste disposal site, invertebrate species richness did not change over time and remained different to that of natural sites, but no further negative impacts were detected.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2001–2006 of four sites off Casey Station, Southern Ocean, East Antarctica (Stark et al. 2014) found that over the two years after cleaning-up a shoreline waste disposal site, invertebrate community compositions at two adjacent impacted subtidal sites changed but remained different to that of two further afield natural subtidal sites. However, no additional negative impacts were detected. Invertebrate communities were significantly different at the impacted sites compared to the natural sites, both before and after removal, and changes over time were similar at impacted and natural sites (data reported as graphical analyses). In addition, species richness did not decrease over time at the impacted sites (before: 13–15; after: 12–18 species/sample), and after two years remained lower than at the natural sites (impacted: 16–18; natural: 20–22 species/sample). In 2003–2004, a disused waste disposal site of an Antarctic research station was removed and cleaned-up to comply with the Antarctic Treaty. Two impacted sites (50 and 200 m from the disposal site) and two nearby natural sites (>2 km away) were monitored. Four groups of five trays (34 x 23 x 12 cm; 20 m between groups) filled with sediments without invertebrates were deployed at 7–15 m depth at each site. One year before, one month before, one month after, and two years after the clean-up, invertebrates were sampled from one tray/group/site using a core (10 cm diameter) and extracted (methodology unspecified).

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Lemasson, A.J., Pettit, L.R., Smith, R.K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation. Pages 635-732 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation - Published 2020

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