Marine Debris Program Supports Arctic Council Marine Litter Action Plan
February 22, 2021 — The Marine Debris Program (MDP) attended and presented at the bi-annual Arctic Council working group meetings on assembling an international action plan for marine litter in the Arctic. Peter Murphy, the MDP Alaska Coordinator, gave a presentation on proposed projects for initial action under the plan.
In recent years, the Arctic Council has taken up marine litter (as marine debris is commonly called internationally) as a focus topic. In fact, four of the six working groups within the Arctic Council are presently working on projects focused on the topic of marine litter, and Iceland has made marine litter a focus of its term as the lead nation in the Arctic Council.
The PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment) working group is leading an effort to create a Regional Action Plan for the Arctic, identifying key gaps and opportunities in research, removal, and prevention actions across the circumpolar Arctic. The MDP, working with the NOAA Office of International Affairs, has been providing inputs to the underlying literature studies as well as the formation of the Action Plan since 2018. The Plan is now nearing release and the working group is developing initial projects. The United States delegation proposed multiple data visualization and analysis projects, including a project to better understand derelict fishing gear composition and sources.
For more information, please contact Peter.Murphy@noaa.gov.