Session Chairs: Francois Galgani, French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Georg Hanke, MSFD; Stefanie Werner, Federal Environment Agency, Germany; Michael Sponar, EU Commission; Michail Papadoyannakis, EU Commission
The session will address the different EU legislative instruments and policy initiatives to combat marine litter; furthermore explanation will be provided on how the science – policy interface is derived in order to provide the technical advice required for their implementation.
The European Union (EU) is tackling the plastic and microplastics marine pollution already through the implementation of marine environment, waste management and port reception facilities legislation. Moreover, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), LIFE, H2020 and other EU funds support and promote scientific research and technological development on harm caused by litter and microplastics, also considering human health. The Directive for reducing consumption of plastic bags is a key measure for addressing an emblematic source of marine litter. Policies applying extended producer responsibility (EPR) have also a role to play as part of a broader approach to avoid waste arising in the first place and then generating revenues for properly dealing with the waste produced. A Strategy for Plastics will be presented by the EU Commission in 2017 addressing, inter alia, leakages of plastic waste and microplastics to the marine environment; the EU Communication “An Agenda for the future of our ocean” from November 2016 will strengthen international action against marine litter.
According to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Member States of the EU must ensure that properties and quantities of marine litter should not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. EU and its Member States are coordinating closely with their neighbors within the Regional seas Conventions around Europe and, at global level, with UN initiatives.
The technical support to these initiatives is largely provided by the MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter (TGML). New developments for the implementation of the MSFD for the descriptor 10 (marine litter) have now to be considered, aiming at a better definition of Good Environmental Status (GES), updating monitoring protocols, implementing the monitoring of new indicators such as entanglement, defining baselines and targets for better monitoring the efficiency of reduction measures, and finally identify new research needs. This session will address all these questions and consider the following topics:
– EU policy framework for land- and sea-based sources of marine litter
– Good environmental status with regard to marine litter
– EPR implementation in EU and global prospects
– EU contribution in international collaboration to fight marine litter
– Scientific and technological development, innovation and cooperation
– Involvement of the civil society and citizen’s science
– Financial tools and investment opportunities
– Monitoring of marine Litter and related impacts within MSFD
EU policy framework and contribution in international collaboration to fight marine litter
Presenting: Michel Sponar (EU Commission, Belgium); Authors: Michail Papadoyannakis (EU Commission, Belgium), Michel Sponar (EU Commission), Michail Papadoyannakis (EU Commission)
The European Union (EU), with 28 Member States, home to more than 500 million people and with approximately 66,000 km of coastline, is tackling the plastic and microplastics marine pollution already through the implementation of marine environment, waste management and port reception facilities legislation. Moreover, a variety of EU funds support and promote scientific research and technological development, including on harm caused by litter and microplastics, also considering human health. A Strategy for Plastics will be presented by the EU Commission in 2017 addressing, inter alia, leakages of plastic waste and microplastics to the marine environment; it could outline new initiatives on single use plastic products, litter from fishing and aquaculture, restrictions in the use of microplastics in products and measures to curb releases of microplastics from textiles, tyres, pre-production plastic pellets and waste water treatment plants.
The EU and its Member States are coordinating closely with their neighbours within the Regional seas Conventions around Europe and at global level, and participate actively in the implementation of Action Plans at international level (e.g. G7 and G20), including through development aid. The EU and its Member States also plan dedicated projects to help reducing plastic waste and marine litter in East and South East Asia and stand ready to engage fully in taking forward global agreement on actions, expected to be adopted at the United Nations Environment Assembly in December 2017, in relationship to plastic marine litter and microplastics.
presenting: Georg Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy); authors: Georg Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy), Francois Galgani (IFREMER), Stefanie Werner (German Federal Environment Agency), Michail Papadoyannakis (European Commission Directorate General Environment), TG Marine Litter MSFD GES Techncial Group on Marine Litter
The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) is considering Marine Litter as one of the 11 Descriptors for the Environmental Status of the European Seas. As marine litter is an emerging issue, scientific research is intensively ongoing, while policy needs to provide measures based on scientifically sound prioritizations and evaluations.
Therefore, within the common implementation strategy for the EU Directive, a technical group has been set-up, which includes, besides EC services, experts from EU Member States as well as from Regional Sea Conventions and scientists related to specific projects. The group is chaired by France, Germany and the EC JRC. Through this forum, information exchange across all EU coastal States and the provision of agreed advice and guidance are performed, facilitated through meetings and an on-line discussion platform.
The TG Marine Litter has provided guidance, advice and recommendations on general marine litter related topics, especially on suitable monitoring methods including for riverine litter, source attribution, and the biological and socioeconomic harm caused by litter, accompanying the implementation of the MSFD and assisting EU Member States to choose harmonized approaches to address marine litter. The testing of scenarios for baselines setting, identification of top litter items and the setting of threshold values are among the topics that are currently being discussed with the aim to provide a coordinated view across EU.
presenting: Anna M Addamo (European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Italy); authors: Anna M Addamo (European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Italy), Georg Hanke (European Commission – Joint Research Centre), TG Marine Litter MSFD GES Technical Group on Marine Litter
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive provides through Descriptor 10, one of eleven Descriptors of the Environmental Status of the European Seas, the commitment to ensure that litter does not cause harm to the marine environment. This requires monitoring of litter quantities, distribution, and identity. Quantitative baselines of litter are needed in order to provide comparable assessments and to monitor the progress of reduction measures.
JRC, in close collaboration with 24 EU Member States, 4 Regional Sea Conventions, Non-Governmental Organizations and several scientific projects, has therefore compiled all available beach litter data in Europe from 2012-2016. More than 4000 beach litter surveys on ca. 300 beaches are included.
Template incompatibilities and unbalance reporting effort at temporal and spatial scale are the main challenges in creating the first comprehensive European database of marine litter. Here we are describing the strategy used to overcome such problematics and are discussing the role and need of “baselines”, including their impact on science and policy.
The harmonized final database is used to test and apply scenarios with different spatial and temporal settings for baseline settings in order to derive a commonly agreed methodology for baselines setting across EU.
presenting: Eva Blidberg (Keep Sweden Tidy, Sweden); authors: Eva Blidberg (Keep Sweden Tidy, Sweden)
Marine litter knows no boundaries and can end up far from its original source. The impacts are environmental, economic and social. In the Central Baltic region marine litter constitutes of plastic (60%) and packaging material is the dominating fraction. Land-based sources count for 80% of the marine litter and urban areas are important litter contributors. Coastal cities have common challenges to reduce waste to become marine litter and the most effective actions will be to target sources on land. In 2016, started the three-year EU-project BLASTIC. The main aim with BLASTIC is to facilitate for municipalities to work against marine litter on a daily basis. The main activities of the project are; 1) to develop a new methodology/approach for mapping marine litter sources and pathways, 2) to develop a monitoring method in rivers/watercourses, and 3) a list of identified and prioritized measures to reduce litter streams from land to sea. The new approach is to take regional and national strategies (Marine Strategy Framework Directive; HELCOM Marine Litter Action Plan) into practice on a local level. Real data on sources and pathways from four municipalities in the region (Södertälje, Sweden, Turku, Finland, Tallinn, Estonia, Leipaja, Latvia) will be used to develop a comprehensive and concrete guidance that despite their different conditions can be used in all costal municipalities around the Baltic Sea.
presenting: Cecilia Silvestri (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), Italy); authors: Marco Matiddi (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)), Jesus Thomas (Marine Zoology Unit, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia), Giuseppe Andrea de Lucia (Institute for Coastal Marine Environment-National Research Council (IAMC-CNR)), Christopher Pham (Institute of Marine Research and MARE-Marine and Environmental Science Centre), M Bradai (Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer), H Kaberi (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)), Yakup Kaska (Pamukkale University, Sea Turtle Rescue andRehabilitation Centre (DEKAMER)), Francoise Claro (Museum National D’Histoire Naturelle), Ana Loza (University of Gran Canaria), Claude Miaud (Centre for Ecology and Functional Ecology CEFE-CNRS-EPHE)
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to achieve the protection of marine biodiversity and the sustainable use of the marine environment across Europe, with the objective of achieving the Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020. Marine litter (Descriptor 10) is one of the most important anthropogenic pressures on marine environment. The Indicator “trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine organism” is one of the target for the monitoring of GES for D10. The INDICIT project, financed by the EU, is based on a 10 partners consortium from the public sector established in EU and non-EU countries, being all contracting parties of the OSPAR and/or Barcelona Conventions. The INDICIT actions aim to obtain a precise definition of this indicator (e.g. threshold values, biological criteria, temporal and spatial scales of use). Starting from the Fulmar EcoQO and the MSFD guidelines, a harmonized procedures of collection and analysis of plastic ingested by loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta have been elaborated. Marine litter is subdivided in categories and sub-categories, counted and weighed. Data are collected according to a specific datasheet with basic and optional parameters in order to better understand the biological constraints. The analyses are performed both on dead turtles and on hospitalized ones. Moreover, local training has been performed in each participating country with the aim of creating national networks. Similar activity enlarged to the Mediterranean basin was performed with a special training course held in Italy, involving UNEP/Map delegates from the South Mediterranean Countries. Mediterranean and European researchers and sea turtle rescue centres are invited to contact INDICIT partners in order to join the international network.
Seafloor litter in the Mediterranean sea: quantities, distribution and typology in the French marine waters
presenting: Olivia Gérigny (Ifremer, France); authors: Olivia Gérigny (Ifremer, France), Mélanie Brun (Ifremer), Marie-Claire Fabri (Ifremer), Corinne Tomasino (Ifremer), Angelique Jadaud (UMR MARBEC), Francois Galgani (Ifremer)
Seafloor litter have been studied on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Lion (northwestern Mediterranean Sea- french marine waters). A data set has been collected during scientific survey conducted between 1994 and 2016, and analyzed to assess the general trend. The annual mean values ranged from 0.29 items/ha (2005) to 2.90 items/ha (2015) and, on the average, plastic was found at 75 %. A more detailed analysis of data was performed using data collected during the last four years, using a more precise protocol, as defined for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s monitoring Program. The results show that the French Mediterranean continental shelf is polluted by different types of debris such as plastic, mainly bags, food packaging and undefined sheets, and in a lesser extent by metallic objects and glass. Fishing gears, as a consequence of local fishing activities, were also found as an important part of the litter. Analysis of the results revealed the influence of geomorphologic factors, local anthropogenic activities, riverine inputs, and a high spatial variability. The marine litter abundances presented a variability on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Lion, impacted by the main flux of Liguro-Provencal current and the Rhone River. Besides, in situ data was collected with ROVs along the slopes and submarine canyons. The results indicated an average value of 3 items.km-1 and highlighted the importance of plastic objects found in all canyons. Typically, the canyons of the Ligurian Sea, closer to the coastline, were more impacted than those of the Gulf of Lion where the continental shelf is larger. Overall, the results provided a scientific and technical background and are discussed in terms of possible management measures for further monitoring.