Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:41

EMODnet launches new spatial data products on marine litter

As increasing concentrations of man-made macro- and microplastics are becoming a significant threat to marine environments, attention for this issue has risen accordingly. Several international fora (e.g. the G7, G20 and United Nations) have expressed a need for data products that allow policy makers, yet also other users of the marine realm, to identify and monitor the issue of marine plastics. EMODnet Chemistry has made an attempt in fulfilling that need for Europe with the publication of digital spatial data products that map litter on the European beaches and the seafloor. The maps were put online on Sunday the 24th of March, and show, amongst others, the spatial and temporal distribution of marine litter in the European open waters. They were constructed based on data and measurements from over 100 different dataproviders as well as both largescale and smaller campaigns. 

Alessandra Giorgetti, Coordinator of EMODnet Chemistry, stated that: “These maps are a significant achievement for EMODnet and the wider European community since it required a large community effort to gather, integrate and standardise datasets from many sources. All maps are free to view, download and use making it an excellent open access product that can be used for many different purposes.

All data used in these spatial products were first collected within the EMODnet Chemistry Marine Litter Database. There, the data was harmonised using several calculations and processes before creating the spatial products. All these processing steps are detailed in the metadata of the maps, which is freely available. 

The maps can be accessed through the dataportal of EMODnet Chemistry. For more information, please contact Andrée-Anne Marsan, Communication and Coordination Officer of the EMODnet Secretariat (andree-anne.marsan@emodnet.eu).