IEEE OES Plastics in the Ocean Initiative

Brest 2022
2022 SeaTechWeek
Virtual Working Session 2021
Marine Litter Sessions at OBPS Workshop
Brest 2019
Oceans 2019
Brest 2018

Recording of Session 6b
Evolving and Sustaining OBPS Workshop IV
Marine Litter Working Group
Co-leads: Artur Palacz, René Garello, Ngozi Oguguah, Florence Jovinary Peter

Full workshop report:
Simpson, P., Pearlman, F. and Pearlman, J. (eds) (2021) Evolving and Sustaining Ocean Best Practices Workshop IV, 18; 21-25 & 30 Sep 2020 [Online]: Proceedings, Volumes 1 & 2. Paris, France, UNESCO, 66pp. & 115pp. (IOC Workshop Report No. 294, Vols. 1 & 2). DOI:

The OBPS Marine Litter Working Group (WG) is fostering community discussions on aspects of developing guidelines and best practices for coordinated collection, quality control, streaming and management of marine litter data. The need for standardized monitoring and research on marine litter underpins the development of globally coordinated observing and information systems the visions for which were recently described in community white papers on an Integrated Marine Debris Observing System (IMDOS) and A Global Platform for Monitoring Marine Litter and Informing Action. In line with some of the white paper recommendations and the overall goals of the OBPS workshop, the following objectives for the Marine Litter WG were set:

  • Identify criteria for selecting variables and methods for which we require guidelines, best practices and standard protocols as a priority
  • Establish a process towards developing first standard protocols for high impact and feasibility elements of marine debris monitoring
  • Decide on the scope of best practice documentations/resources needed for (i) remote sensing observations, (ii) modelling, and (iii) citizen science components of marine debris monitoring
  • Identify short-term actions to implement a Global Platform for Monitoring Marine Litter and Informing Action and IMDOS as its backbone

The WG convened several thematic sessions on 21-24 September (ca. 2-hours each), and join three OBPS workshop plenaries on 18, 25 and 30 September. The exact schedule was available from the TeamUp Calendar. Below is a brief summary of the sessions:

Session #1: Global frameworks for selecting priority indicators and variables for monitoring
To discuss requirements for best practices to monitor marine litter in the context of the SDG indicator framework and the Essential Ocean Variables framework.

Session #2: Towards standard sampling protocols
To discuss the prospects for establishing first standard sampling protocols for marine litter. Building on GESAMP monitoring guidelines, UN Regional Action Plans, and other documents the group will address the challenge to consider environmental, technical or even ethical constraints when recommending and adopting common methodologies.

Session #3: Towards best practices for remote sensing of marine debris
To discuss first steps towards developing best practices for remote sensing of marine debris, e.g. through comparable spectral reference libraries.

Session #4: Best practices for citizen science monitoring
To review existing guidelines for citizen science monitoring in light of new developments and initiatives from around the globe.

Session #5: Best practices for modelling
To initiate discussions on what best practices for modelling marine litter would entail, and how to overcome numerous challenges in their development.

Session #6: Global Platform (for Monitoring Marine Litter and Informing Action)
To discuss best practices needed to support the Global Platform, including in: marine litter life cycle analyses and impact assessments; co-creation of research agendas and knowledge; best practices in engaging with decision makers among other stakeholders.

This Initiative is sponsored by: