Future monitoring of litter and microplastics in the Arctic – challenges, opportunities and strategies

Type Article
Date 2023-03
Language English
Author(s) Provencher Jennifer F.1, Aliani Stefano2, Bergmann Melanie3, Bourdages Madelaine4, Buhl-Mortensen Lene5, Galgani FrancoisORCID6, Gomiero Alessio7, Granberg Maria8, Grøsvik Bjørn Einar9, Hamilton Bonnie M.10, Kögel Tanja11, 12, Larsen Jan René13, Lusher Amy L.14, 15, Mallory Mark L.16, Murphy Peter17, Peeken Ilka18, Primpke Sebastian19, Strand Jakob20, Vorkamp Katrin21
Affiliation(s) 1 : Environment and Climate Change Canada, 6347, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2 : Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council, La Spezia, Italy
3 : Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 84597, Bremerhaven, Germany
4 : Carleton University, 6339, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
5 : Institute of Marine Research, 115347, Bergen, Norway
6 : Ifremer, Plouzané, France
7 : Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
8 : Kristineberg Marine Research Station, Kristineberg, Sweden
9 : Institute of Marine Research, 115347, Bergen, Norway
10 : University of Toronto, 7938, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
11 : University of Bergen, 1658, Department of Biological Science, Bergen, Norway
12 : Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Bergen, Norway
13 : Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Secretariat , Tromso, Norway
14 : Norwegian Institute for Water Research, 6273, Oslo, Norway
15 : University of Bergen, 1658, Bergen, Norway
16 : Acadia University, 8689, Biology, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
17 : NOAA, 7202, Washington, District of Columbia, United States
18 : Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, 84597, Polar Biological Oceanography, Bremerhaven, Germany
19 : Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar und Meeresforschung, 84597, Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Helgoland, Germany
20 : Aarhus University, 1006, Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus, Denmark
21 : Aarhus University, 1006, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus, Denmark
Source Arctic Science (2368-7460) (Canadian Science Publishing), 2023-03 , Vol. 9 , N. 1 , P. 209-226
DOI 10.1139/AS-2022-0011
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) ecosystem, effects, Indigenous communities, sources, transport pathways

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) has published a plan and guidelines for the monitoring of litter and microplastics (MP) in the Arctic. Here we look beyond suggestions for immediate monitoring and discuss challenges, opportunities and future strategies in the long-term monitoring of litter and MP in the Arctic. Challenges are related to environmental conditions, lack of harmonization and standardization of measurements, and long-term coordinated and harmonized data storage. Furthermore, major knowledge gaps exist with regard to benchmark levels, transport, sources and effects, which should be considered in future monitoring strategies. Their development could build on the existing infrastructure and networks established in other monitoring initiatives in the Arctic, while taking into account specific requirements for litter and MP monitoring. Knowledge existing in northern and Indigenous communities, as well as their research priorities, should be integrated into collaborative approaches. The monitoring plan for litter and MP in the Arctic allows for an ecosystem-based approach, which will improve the understanding of linkages between environmental media of the Arctic, as well as links to the global problem of litter and MP pollution.

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Provencher Jennifer F., Aliani Stefano, Bergmann Melanie, Bourdages Madelaine, Buhl-Mortensen Lene, Galgani Francois, Gomiero Alessio, Granberg Maria, Grøsvik Bjørn Einar, Hamilton Bonnie M., Kögel Tanja, Larsen Jan René, Lusher Amy L., Mallory Mark L., Murphy Peter, Peeken Ilka, Primpke Sebastian, Strand Jakob, Vorkamp Katrin (2023). Future monitoring of litter and microplastics in the Arctic – challenges, opportunities and strategies. Arctic Science, 9(1), 209-226. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1139/AS-2022-0011 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00783/89479/