The Working Group on Marine Litter (WGML) develops guidance on seafloor litter and microplastic monitoring and assessment
to support the data needs of our member countries and the wider science and
assessment community internationally.
The group has already mapped seafloor litter/microplastic monitoring aproaches and discussed the best channels to distribute the key information they produce by establishing an overview of national and international drivers and linkages. They are working towards a
proposal on a seafloor litter and microplastics research and monitoring
strategy for ICES, in conjunction with member countries, a range of regional
organizations, and ICES Data Centre. This work will advance our
understanding of the prevalence and impacts of marine litter and microplastics.
Despite the significant increase in available
data on microplastic
pollution and litter globally, including the Arctic, status reports lack
standardization in methodology and reporting consistency. Therefore, WGML works closely together with the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Working Group (AMAP) of
the Arctic Council
and their litter and microplastics expert group to define and harmonise
Large concentrations of litter and microplastics are
found in the Arctic. Future mapping and analysis of marine litter status and trends in strategic
partnerships across the Atlantic Ocean, including the Arctic, the Mediterranean
Sea, the Black Sea, and the North Pacific Ocean, will assist in figuring out how marine
litter and microplastics move across wider regions
and how adequate measures can be put in place.
To stimulate science progress
and interaction, WGML is supporting the
International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and the sub-Arctic region (2-4 March 2021) which will focus on scientific knowledge of the problem and the best
practices to deal with the huge challenge. The symposium is
expected to build a foundation of science that can be used to deliver information and advice for decision-makers.
Back to ICES Science Highlights: science and advice in a changing Arctic.
Plastic pollution on the Arctic coast.