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Q&A: How does EMODnet Chemistry contribute to address marine litter pollution?
16 July 2021

We have asked Georg Hanke, from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC JRC), and Francois Galgani, from the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) about the role played by EMODnet Chemistry in the struggle for reducing and preventing marine litter pollution.

G. Hanke states that
β€œ Since 2017 EMODnet Chemistry has fast become the point of reference for the management of marine litter data in the context of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive implementation. The European Commission Joint Research Centre is pleased to collaborate with the EMODnet Chemistry network, that has extensively been supporting the MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter and the Joint Research Centre in compiling and analysing European datasets. In particular, EMODnet Chemistry, as developer of the first authoritative pan-European database for marine litter, has a key role in collecting monitoring data from the EU Member States as well as in data harmonization and validation. A lot of progress has already been made together and we are jointly, together with the EU Member States, tackling new challenges along the path to European, and beyond, marine litter data management. We believe that we should expand our work more intensively towards contaminants and other topics.”

F. Galgani replies that
β€œFor the monitoring of sea floor litter, the use of trawling remains limited to soft bottoms, with a possible phasing out because it is destructive to habitats. Underwater video appears as the only alternative, enabling surveys for all compartments of the sea and deep sea floor. Coordinated and harmonized data collection of data from imagery is what EMODNET offers. This is the best adapted approach to support a coordinated monitoring of sea floor litter.”

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