Microplastics in Seawater: Recommendations from the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Implementation Process

Type Article
Date 2016-11-08
Language English
Author(s) Gago Jesus1, Galgani FrancoisORCID2, Maes Thomas3, Thompson Richard C.4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Vigo, Spain
2 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Bastia, France
3 : Lowestoft Laboratory, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Suffolk, UK
4 : School of Marine Science and Engineering, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK
Source Frontiers in Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2016-11-08 , Vol. 3 , N. 219 , P. 6p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2016.00219
WOS© Times Cited 104
Keyword(s) marine debris, plastics, microplastics, monitoring

Microplastic litter is a pervasive pollutant present in marine systems across the globe. The legacy of microplastics pollution in the marine environment today may remain for years to come due to the persistence of these materials. Microplastics are emerging contaminants of potential concern and as yet there are few recognized approaches for monitoring. In 2008, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) included microplastics as an aspect to be measured. Here we outline the approach as discussed by the European Union expert group on marine litter, the technical Subgroup on Marine litter (TSG-ML), with a focus on the implementation of monitoring microplastics in seawater in European seas. It is concluded that harmonization and coherence is needed to achieve reliable monitoring.

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