In its decision (2010/477/EU) relating to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), the European Commission identified the following points as focuses for monitoring:
(i) 10.1.1: Trends in the amount, source and composition of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines,
(ii) 10.1.2: Trends in the amount and composition of litter in the water column and accumulation on the sea floor,
(iii) 10.1.3: Trends in the amount, distribution and composition of micro-particles (mainly microplastics), and
(iv) 10.2.1 Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals.
Monitoring the impacts of litter will be considered further in 2014. At that time, the strategy will be discussed in the context of the Mediterranean Sea, providing information on constraints, protocols, existing harm and research needed to support monitoring efforts. (…)
F. Galgani,F. Claro, M. Depledge, C. Fossi, Marine Environmental Research,Vol. 100, SI, pages 3-9, september 2014