IEEE OES Plastics in the Ocean Initiative

Virtual Working Session 2021
Marine Litter Sessions at OBPS Workshop
3rd Workshop
Brest 2019
Oceans 2019
Brest 2018

Call for Contribution

We are happy to announce the call for abstracts for the virtual event “One Integrated Marine Debris Observing System for a Clean Ocean”, including a virtual poster session open from 10 to 30 November 2021 and online plenary sessions and discussions from 17 to 19 November 2021.

This event is organised by a consortium of 14 international ocean experts and is hosted by GEO Blue Planet and Mercator Ocean International as an official satellite activity of the UN Ocean Decade Clean Ocean Laboratory.

We will discuss the current state of the marine debris system, our knowledge about it and ways forward for implementing the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System (IMDOS). We aim to learn about recent advancements in observational techniques and technologies as well as to enhance cooperation, bringing together multidisciplinary approaches from diverse communities of stakeholders.

The hybrid event will include:

  • Three plenary sessions, available in both English and French with invited talks, live discussions and interactions between participants and panellists via the Zoom platform. The sessions will also be broadcasted live on YouTube.
    • Plenary Session 1: Strengthening scientific knowledge – Nov. 17, 2021, 8-10pm CET
    • Plenary Session 2: Fostering new monitoring capacities – Nov. 18, 2021, 10-12am CET
    • Plenary Session 3: Defining the future of IMDOS – Nov. 19, 2021, 9-11am CET
  • An online virtual poster hall on the MIRO platform where presenters and participants will be able to connect and interact from 10 to 30 November. Both traditional posters and short videos are expected.

Presentations and interactions in the poster hall will be aligned with discussions in plenary sessions and used in the concluding document of the event.

We address our call to all experts including, but not limited to academics, engineers, citizen scientists, activists, indigenous communities, private companies, and intergovernmental organizations.

We invite poster contributions in the following 4 sessions:

Trans-disciplinary Approaches Session
Recent studies reveal new impacts that anthropogenic marine debris poses on marine ecosystems and on human society. This includes but is not limited to transport of invasive biological species, supply of nutrients to the oligotrophic ocean, release of greenhouse gases by degrading plastic, and losses in the fishing and tourism industries. Addressing the mitigation of marine debris requires transdisciplinary approaches bringing all stakeholders to the table. This session invites posters on innovative transdisciplinary efforts to understand and tackle the marine debris problem at different levels.

Monitoring Technologies and Modelling Session
There is a need for regular and standardized monitoring of marine litter in order to understand long-term changes in marine litter pollution and for the successful development and implementation of mitigation strategies. This session will show-case a wide range of in situ and remote sensing methods, technologies and associated best practices for observation, quantification and characterization of the diverse nature, sources, fate, and impacts of marine debris. Experts are also invited to share state-of-the modelling methods used to complement marine debris monitoring and scientific assessments.

Networks Session
Marine litter monitoring is supported by many communities of practice and emerging observing networks which are gathered locally as well as globally around specific indicators, common observing or modelling technologies, citizen initiatives, or indigenous traditions. This session seeks the creation of synergies amongst these networks and communities of practice which want to share their experience in fostering cooperation within and outside their communities for the benefit of building an Integrated Marine Debris Observing System.

Digital Ecosystems Session
The wealth of existing data, information and knowledge on marine litter and debris is distributed in a complex web of databases, portals and aggregating platforms. A robust and collaborative digital ecosystem which integrates various distributed data management frameworks and resources is key to offer access to relevant products to a wide range of stakeholder communities including scientists and policy makers. This session invites posters on specific databases or data products but also coordinated actions delivering information to stakeholders addressing the challenges of marine litter pollution monitoring and mitigation. Posters presenting transformative approaches to a digital ecosystem for marine debris are particularly welcome.

To submit a poster, please send a short plain language abstract (max 100 words) to audrey.hasson at before 22 October 2021.

All selected participants will be asked to submit a traditional poster or a 2-to-5-minute video recording by 5 November. A template of the MIRO board that will host the poster hall is available here.

After the event, posters and presentations will be published on the dedicated webpage and compiled as pdf proceedings. The concluding document, approved by the participants, will be published on the event webpage and circulated to the broad community.

To learn more about the event, follow the progress in its planning, and register for plenary sessions and updates please visit our webpage (click here.)

Please help us disseminate this call by circulating this announcement in your relevant communities/networks.

Best regards,

On behalf of the Organizing Committee,

Dr Audrey Hasson

GEO Blue Planet European Coordinator
@ Mercator Ocean International - EU4OCEANOBS FPI

Organizing Committee:

Stefano Aliani, CNR Institute Marine Science, Italy
Manuel Arias Ballesteros, ARGANS Ltd, UK
Britta Denise Hardesty, CSIRO, Australia
Audrey Hasson (event lead), GEO Blue Planet, EU4OceanObs / Mercator Ocean International, France
Francois Galgani, IFREMER, France
Kara Lavender Law, Sea Education Association, USA
Laurent Lebreton, The Ocean Cleanup, New Zealand
Marc Lucas, Collecte Localisation Satellites - CLS, France
Christa Marandino, GEOMAR, Germany
Nikolai Maximenko, University of Hawaii, USA
Artur Palacz, International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) / Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAN), Poland
Hans-Peter Plag, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
Alexander Turra, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Matteo Vinci, National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics – OGS, Italy

This Initiative is sponsored by: