IUCN has partnered up with Eunomia and the Marine Conservation Society for a study that will explore the relationship between marine debris and migratory species. It is hoped the investigation will shed some further light on the marine waste problem and the solutions that are needed to tackle this menace to the marine environment.
Marine debris has become an issue of growing concern over recent years as it has become a threat to over 650 species (GEF, 2012) worldwide and approximately 15% of the species affected through entanglement and ingestion are on the IUCN Red List. It affects marine fish, mammals, birds and sea turtles and of particular concern is the amount of plastic as it makes up the majority of debris items found in the marine environment.
The study has been commissioned by the Convention on Migratory Species and IUCN will be providing expert advice concerning the impacts of marine debris on migratory species.
The study aims to explore the following aspects:
• Knowledge gaps in marine debris management and impacts on migratory species;
• Best practice strategies for waste management used on board commercial marine vessels, identifying and taking into account existing work and codes of conduct, and making recommendations for improvement or development of new codes; and
• Facilitating analysis of the effectiveness of current public awareness and education campaigns, and making recommendations for improvement.
The scope of the three review areas was defined in Resolution10.4 on Marine Debris, as adopted at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory species in 2011.
It is expected that the final study will be published in the first half of 2014.
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