Bringing the Ocean to Society
4 Apr 2017
Online Portal for Marine Litter
Researchers at Alfred Wegener Institute have compiled all available scientific data on marine litter in a single database

The German institute - EurOcean partner in EUROFLEETS - has developed the portal LITTERBASE that shows the distribution of litter around the oceans. 

The growing human population and global industrialisation have led to rising production rates of various goods. A considerable part of the resulting litter ends up in the oceans, either from land-based sources or directly at sea. Shipping and, in particular, fisheries are important sources of litter, as fishing gear is often damaged or lost during operation and left behind. Additionally, large amounts of litter are transported to the sea by rivers. Once litter reaches the marine environment it can only be removed at great efforts, a futile endeavour given the vastness of the oceans. 

Regarding the interaction of marine litter with organisms, the portal shows that 34% of the species monitored ingest litter, 31 percent colonise it and 30 percent get entangled or trapped in it. The total number of affected species is rising steadily and is currently at 1220. 

To know more about this new portal please visit its website.