Technologies for Observing and Monitoring Plastics in the Oceans

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Background Material
Workshop Flyer
IEEE OES Initiative
2020 Cascais Workshop
2019 Brest Workshop
Oceans 2019 Town Hall

Plastics in the oceans pose a mounting existential threat to life in the oceans and on land, including human life, and technologies to observe, measure and monitor the flow of plastics into, and within, the oceans are urgently needed in support of mitigating the threat.


Session Description
November 26, 2018

Opening Session

The opening session set the stage for the workshop. After a welcome notes from René Garello, the session featured four keynotes summarizing the knowledge about the origin of plastics in the oceans, the impacts of the plastic on life in the oceans and on land, the observation approaches to detecting and quantifying plastice in the oceans, and options for mitigating the threat of plastics to life in the oceans and on land.

November 26, 2018

Session 1: The Plastics Life Cycle

The session reviewed the life cycle of plastics (including mirco plastics) with the aim of developing a conceptual model that indicates the applications, beneficiaries, as well as key decision and policy makers. The session discussed options for interventions that could impact the plastics that enter the oceans and/or remove plastics from the oceans.

November 26, 2018

Session 2: Detecting and Quantifying Plastics in the Oceans

The session reviewed the current state-of-the art in observations that allow for the detection and mapping of plastics in the oceans, and provide data for quantifying the amount of these plastics in ocean waters, marine life, and ocean sediments. The review covered in situ and remote sensing observations, as well as citizen scientists efforts.

November 26, 2018

Session 3: Improving Observations of Plastics in the Oceans

The session discussed promising innovative developments and concepts that could significantly increase the data available for plastics in the ocean waters, in the coastal zone, in marine life and in recent sediments. The goal of the session was to contribute to a road map for the next five years to ensure that the SDG Indicator 14.1.1 can be quantified with particular focus on plastics.

November 27, 2018

Session 4: Data and Knowledge Sharing in Support of Decision and Policy Making

The goal of this session was the identification of promising activities that could facilitate and ensure the availability of data and knowledge concerning amount, type and impacts of plastics in the oceans for those social agents who are addressing the challenge posed by plastics.

November 27, 2018

Session 5: Road Map

A draft road map was developed based on the outcome of previous sessions that recommends steps towards comprehensive detection and quantitative mapping. This road map covers the time slot up to 2023.

November 27, 2018

Session 6: White Paper on Marine Litter Monitoring

The session discussed the contents of a white paper on marine litter monitoring.

This workshop was sponsored by: