Marine debris: global and regional impacts

Article English OPEN
Torres N,Daniel ; Berguño B,Jorge (2011)
  • Publisher: Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia
  • Subject: Marine debris | marine pollution | CEP | ATCM | Antarctica | UN

A synthesis on the Marine Debris problem is given upon de basis of the general knowledge on the matter as well as that obtained at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island, South Shetland, Antarctica. It is suggested to improve the database on marine debris through permanent scientific research as well as with monitoring activities. It is necessary to coordinate key groups to apply strategies to identify types, sources, amount, interactions and socio-economic aspects of this global and regional problem. It would be necessary to develop basic marine indices with the purpose to share a wide knowledge and information about the problem in a transparent way. The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) has some objectives related to the marine debris problem that it is necessary to be applied to all sources, based on the information given by several organizations in a cooperative way. Measurements to prevent and reduce the impact of marine debris are mentioned, especially taken into account the special nature of the marine environment and vulnerable condition. International legal instruments are cited, including waste management, facilities to garbage reception at ports. Education and awareness is a key aspect to reduce and prevent future marine debris problems, taking into account the legal aspects and vulnerability of the Southern Ocean. It is concluded that the CEP would adopt measures to reduce the impact in the Antarctic marine ecosystem, such as requesting to IAATO to establish a Code of Conduct to minimize the problem; to support the CCAMLR initiative to maintain, improve and expand the monitoring activities in other CEMP Sites; recommend the development of educational strategies upon the basis of APEC, CCAMLR, FAO, GPA; and include an especial section of the Final Report of the ATCM Meetings in order to be sent to the consideration of the UN Secretary General as a contribution to discussions to be held at the annual United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.
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