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Marine litter data: the new guidelines online

20 December 2023

NODC is pleased to inform you that the new Guidance on Monitoring of Marine Litter in European Seas, first published in 2013, is now available. The European Commission Joint Research Centre, which co-chairs the Technical Group on Marine Litter (TGML) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) , has just released the new edition. The publication contains recommendations for the sampling, analysis and recording of marine litter collected by EU countries as part of the MSFD monitoring programme. The aim of the guideline is to make the data comparable and usable across countries.

Since 20017, NODC, as coordinator of the EMODnet Chemistry Project, has collaborated with the TGML to improve the FAIRness of marine litter data: Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability. Over the years, it has been recognised that a common approach to marine litter monitoring is a prerequisite for comparable data on marine litter pollution. In turn, harmonised, validated monitoring protocols and data management plans are essential to promptly take effective and knowledge-based decisions to mitigate marine pollution.

For this and many other good reasons, this new guidance on monitoring marine litter in European seas is a milestone for improving the health and cleanliness of our sea and ocean.

The guidance is included in the OceanBestPracticesSystem Repository. This is the open access, permanent, digital repository of community best practices in ocean-related sciences and applications maintained by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Program of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee.