As a result of human activities, marine litter has become a severe pollution threat with negative impacts on the marine environment and human health. This project aims to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services by improving the regional cooperation and by reinforcing capabilities to prevent, monitor and remove marine litter in the Atlantic Area. Eventually, the project will contribute to raise awareness and change attitudes among stakeholders and to improve marine litter managing systems.
CleanAtlantic addresses this challenge and aims to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Atlantic Area by improving capabilities to monitor, prevent and remove (macro) marine litter. A picture of current situation, existing knowledge, data and initiatives in the Atlantic regions will be drawn and gaps will be defined. Current systems to monitor and record marine will be
reviewed, and protocols, tools and indicators will be delivered to fill monitoring needs. Modelling tools to predict the origin, circulation and fate of marine litter will be developed, and regional maps of hotspots of accumulation will be elaborated using models and innovative technologies for space, aerial, surface and underwater unmanned systems. Prevention will be addressed
by developing best practices to reduce inputs from fishing and port sectors.
Removal of marine litter will be tackled by implementing initiatives of fishing for litter, reducing the presence of “abandoned lost and otherwise discarded fishing gears” on the sea-bed, and developing best practises for routine beach litter clean-up by local authorities. Training and awareness activities addressed to various audiences will be delivered and project outputs will be transferred
to competent authorities and key stakeholders to improve management and facilitate MSFD implementation.