Marine litter covers an extremely wide variety of materials and sizes, originating from many unspecified sources. It is one of the most serious, rapidly developing, and worsening global environmental problems. The annual global production of waste has reached 4 billion tonnes and this figure is expected to double by 2025. About half of this amount concerns non-biodegradable material (i.e. plastics and metals).
Periodic assessments of the state of the marine environment, monitoring, and the formulation of environmental targets are perceived as part of the adaptive management process within Regional Sea Convention Action Plans (OSPAR in the Northeast Atlantic or HELCOM in the Baltic Sea) and within the MSFD for EU members states.
In the Northeast Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, a better understanding of marine litter pollution and the implementation of monitoring to support reduction measures are the main objectives, with a focus on some specific aspects of marine litter pollution such as the evaluation of sources, distribution, fate and impact of marine litter.
With some indicators already in place and new development to come, to cover all aspects of marine litter pollution, the aim of the session is to present the most recent and updated information on this issue with consideration to all compartments of the marine environment.
Evaluation of sources, distribution, fate and impact of marine litter, and specific issues such as interactions with the fishery sector will be addressed. New concepts and insights, shared and harmonized methodologies, coordinated environmental monitoring will be also considered to support dedicated guidelines and reduction measures.
The session will consider both science and management to
Interactions with the fishery sector will also be considered as an important aspect of marine litter pollution, and results from ongoing research projects in the North east Atlantic and Baltic sea will be analyzed and discussed.