Seasonal dynamics of marine litter along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast

In this study marine litter (ML) surveys were conducted in 8 beaches along the Bulgarian Black Sea coastline within 4 seasons for 2015–2016. The monitoring applied OSPAR guideline, classifying ML in eight categories and 167 types. The results exhibited predominance of artificial polymer materials – 84.3%. ML densities ranged from 0.0587 ± 0.005 to 0.1343 ± 0.008 n/m2, highest on the urban beaches. The seasonal dynamics of most top 10 ML showed highest quantities in summer than the other seasons, as the differences are of high statistical significance (0.001 ≤ P ≤ 0.05). Top 1 ML item for most of the beaches was cigarette butts and filters reaching 1008 ± 10.58 nos. in summer and from 19 ± 3.41 to 89 ± 7.81 nos. during the rest of the seasons (P < 0.001). For the pronounced seasonality contributed the recreational activities, increased tourist flow and the wild camping. The investigation will enrich data scarcity for Descriptor 10 “Marine litter”.

Anna Simeonova, Rozalina Chuturkova, Velika Yaneva, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 23 March 2017, In Press

The article

NORMAN interlaboratory study (ILS) on passive sampling of emerging pollutants

A chemical monitoring on site (CM Onsite) organised by NORMAN Association and JRC in support of the Water Framework Directive

Passive samplers can play a valuable role in monitoring water quality within a legislative framework such as the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD). The time-integrated data from these devices can be used to complement chemical monitoring of priority and emerging contaminants which are difficult to analyse by spot or bottle sampling methods, and to improve risk assessment of chemical pollution. In order to increase the acceptance of passive sampling technology amongst end users and to gain further information about the robustness of the calibration and analytical steps, several inter-laboratory field studies have recently been performed in Europe. Such trials are essential to further validate this sampling method and to increase the confidence of the technological approach for end users. An inter-laboratory study on the use of passive samplers for the monitoring of emerging pollutants was organised in 2011 by the NORMAN association (Network of reference laboratories for monitoring emerging environmental pollutants; http://www.norman-network.net) together with the European DG Joint Research Centre to support the Common Implementation Strategy of the WFD. Thirty academic, commercial and regulatory laboratories participated in the passive sampler comparison exercise and each was allowed to select their own sampler design. All the different devices were exposed at a single sampling site to treated waste water from a large municipal treatment plant. In addition, the organisers deployed in parallel for each target analyte class multiple samplers of a single type which were subsequently distributed to the participants for analysis. This allowed an evaluation of the contribution of the different analytical laboratory procedures to the data variability. The results obtained allow an evaluation of the potential of different passive sampling methods for monitoring selected emerging organic contaminants (pharmaceuticals, polar pesticides, steroid hormones, fluorinated surfactants, triclosan, bisphenol A and brominated flame retardants). In most cases, between laboratory variation of results from passive samplers was roughly a factor 5 larger than within laboratory variability. Similar results obtained for different passive samplers analysed by individual laboratories and also low within laboratory variability of sampler analysis indicate that the passive sampling process is causing less variability than the analysis. This points at difficulties that laboratories experienced with analysis in complex environmental matrices. Where a direct comparison was possible (not in case of brominated flame retardants) analysis of composite water samples provided results that were within the concentration range obtained by passive samplers. However, in the future a significant improvement of the overall precision of passive sampling is needed. The results will be used to inform EU Member States about the potential application of passive sampling methods for monitoring organic chemicals within the framework of the WFD. (2016)

The report

Report from the Commission to the european parliament and the council assessing Member States’ monitoring programmes under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) provides a framework in which Member States must take the necessary measures to achieve or maintain ‘good environmental status’ in all of the EU’s marine waters by 2020. Achieving this objective means that the EU’s seas are clean, healthy and productive and the use of the marine environment is sustainable. The MSFD includes eleven qualitative “descriptors” describing what the environment should look like when good environmental status has been achieved. Commission Decision 2010/477/EU on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters guides Member States on how this objective is to be achieved.

European Commission, Brussels, 16.1.2017

Management frameworks for coastal and marine pollution in the European and South East Asian regions

The continuing threat of pollution on coastal and marine environment and resources has been addressed on regional scale over the past decades. This paper describes and compares the coastal and marine pollution management frameworks in the European and South East Asian regions. It highlights the differences and commonalities of the two regions in terms of the approach each has taken to address the transboundary pollution issues. It also focuses on the actions taken by France and the Philippines as parties to these regional management frameworks. A brief examination of the drivers and pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems as well as its current state showed that in both regions pollutants persist despite previous efforts to manage the release of pollutants from anthropogenic sources. The enactment of the Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive is the most recent response of the European Union (EU) to deal with persistent pollution issues in European waters. In South East Asia, management frameworks have also been developed through regional projects and programs supported by various international (e.g., UNEP) and regional institutions (e.g., ASEAN, PEMSEA). In both regions, the management frameworks take a holistic and functional management approach, although the EU member states have taken the action a step further by forging legally binding regional policies. Adopting a common and legally binding policy in SEA has been very difficult due to the varying geographical, political, social as well as economic settings of countries in this region. EU Member States like France have undertaken activities and actions in accordance with the requirements of the WFD and MSFD. On the other hand, the Philippines had been an active participant to the various regional projects and programs in SEA, though its compliance to the tasks and obligations of the regional conventions on coastal and marine pollution management had been limited due to other more pressing problems domestically. We conclude that despite the challenges encountered by EU Member States in complying with the EU Directives, there is a need for SEA to also move towards adopting and implementing a similar region-wide and legal framework for effective management of coastal and marine pollution issues.

Ma. Gregoria Joanne P. Tiquio, Nicolas Marmier, Patrice Francour, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 135, January 2017, Pages 65–78

The article

The cotton buds beach: Marine litter assessment along the Tyrrhenian coast of central Italy following the marine strategy framework directive criteria

We assessed the annual accumulation rates of beach litter on the Tyrrhenian coast of central Italy, providing the characterization of litter following European standardized guidelines. Three different sites of a beach were sampled seasonally from spring 2014 to winter 2015. A total of 31,739 items were removed and classified into 103 categories. Plastic represented the majority (94.4%) of the collected items. We detected temporal and spatial differences in the abundance and composition of litter between seasons and between sites. Furthermore, we found that plastic cotton bud sticks composed > 30% of the total amount of litter and, together with plastic and polystyrene pieces, made up > 70% of the total items. Finally, our results led us to propose that the most effective strategy to reduce litter pollution is to devise specific management procedures focusing on the most abundant items.

Gianluca Poeta, Corrado Battisti, Manuele Bazzichetto, Alicia T.R. Acosta, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 113, Issues 1–2, 15 December 2016, Pages 266–270

The article

Is existing legislation fit-for-purpose to achieve Good Environmental Status in European seas?

Recent additions to marine environmental legislation are usually designed to fill gaps in protection and management, build on existing practices or correct deficiencies in previous instruments. Article 13 of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires Member States to develop a Programme of Measures (PoM) by 2015, to meet the objective of Good Environmental Status (GES) for their waters by 2020. This review explores key maritime-related policies with the aim to identify the opportunities and threats that they pose for the achievement of GES. It specifically examines how Member States have relied on and will integrate existing legislation and policies to implement their PoM and the potential opportunities and difficulties associated with this. Using case studies of three Member States, other external impediments to achieving GES are discussed including uses and users of the marine environment who are not governed by the MSFD, and gives recommendations for overcoming barriers.

Suzanne J. Boyes, Michael Elliott, Arantza Murillas-Maza, Nadia Papadopoulou, Maria C. Uyarra, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 111, Issues 1–2, 15 October 2016, Pages 18–32

The article

CLEANSEA (Towards a Clean, Litter-Free European Marine Environment through Scientific Evidence, Innovative Tools and Good Governance)

Europe’s marine natural resources encompass a vast natural capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Marine litter is widely recognized as a threat to marine ecosystems and a major societal challenge to manage. Under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (Directive 2008/56/EC), marine litter is one of the eleven descriptors for determining Good Environmental Status, GES (Decision 2010/477/EU). The EU aims to achieve GES through the adoption of an ecosystem-based and integrated approach to managing all human activities which impact the marine environment. There is an urgent need for an improved knowledge base for the management of marine litter and the CleanSea project was created to address this need. (…) (Final report summary, 11/10/2016)

European Commission