A plan to reduce marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea has been adopted by the Conference of Parties of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean. The plan is the first regional sea convention plan to be launched and will provide Mediterranean countries with guidance on tackling the problem of marine litter. Read more…
Marine litter is a major issue, with approximately 10 million tonnes of debris dumped in seas and oceans across the world each year. A recent study by Science for Environment Policy has found that the total weight of litter in deep sea ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea is often equal to, or higher, than that of the animals living there. Plastic, glass, metal, fishing nets and clinker are the most common types of litter found in the marine environment. Shallower areas closer to the coast have a higher proportion of plastics, while deeper sea areas have a higher proportion ofheavy litter, such as glass.
The regional plan includes actions that will help raise awareness around the issue and assist in removing existing litter. They will also support efforts to stop litter from ending up in the seas in the first place. The actions are designed to help European Member States meet their obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and achieve reductions in marine debris by 2025. Plans from other regional sea conventions will be expected to follow.
Following the adoption, the European Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, said: “I am very pleased to see the Mediterranean convention taking the problem of marine litter so seriously. This is an important step towards achieving the significant reductions in marine debris by 2025 that World Leaders promised at the Rio+20 summit last year. I hope that the other regional sea conventions will now take similar steps.”
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