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New report: Healthy Seas Legal and Policy Framework

Marine litter has become a pervasive pollution problem affecting all of the world seas. It is found everywhere from polar regions to the equator. It is widely documented that marine debris, such as plastics and derelict fishing gear, has negative impacts on many aspects. Therefore, on behalf of Healthy Seas a study was conducted by Ms. A. Bezulenko. The full report can be found here.

The study seeks to assist Healthy Seas by providing information on international and European laws and policies that are related to prevention, withdrawal and recycling of marine litter in general and fishing gear in particular.

The problem of marine litter is not an easy one. In 2012 UNEP concluded that little or no progress has been achieved in preventing, reducing or controlling pollution of the marine environment. Marine litter is an inherently ‘wicked’ problem due to a myriad of drivers, from individual responsibility to industry actions, from land and at sea.

Several European policies have been selected for more detailed analysis; on the basis of reflections on selected policies some changes to existing European policies could be recommended for (hopefully) more effective struggle with the problem of marine litter. These changes are being elaborated on in the report itself.

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