Ospar Commission
OSPAR's Quality Status Report 2023 Friday Ocean Findings Issue 22
This week we are pleased to have published assessments on Plastic Particles in Fulmar Stomachs in the North Sea and on the Composition and Spatial Distribution of Litter on the Seafloor. These 2 assessments complement the assessments on Marine Litter ingested by Sea Turtles and Abundance, Composition and Trends of Beach Litter that we featured in Issue 17 of Friday Ocean Findings.

These Common Indicator Assessments contribute to our 2023 Quality Status Report and are single, measurable components which reflect the overall condition of the marine environment. Our Common Indicator Assessments cover myriad parameters looking at pollution, biodiversity, the impacts of human activities etc. that, when combined, create a picture of the health of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

OSPAR continues to take measures to reduce marine litter through our 2nd Marine Litter Regional Action Plan We hope you enjoy these Indicator Assessments. Please do contact us with any comments at communications@ospar.org

Fulmar image: Courtesy of Lucy Ritchie. Seafloor litter image: ©Marine Photobank
Plastic Particles in Fulmar Stomachs in the North Sea

Currently 51% of beached North Sea fulmars have more than 0,1g of plastics in their stomachs, exceeding the Fulmar Threshold Value of 10%. This reflects the abundance of floating litter and provides an indication of harm. The amounts of ingested plastics have decreased significantly in the period 2009 to 2018.

Composition and Spatial Distribution of Litter on the Seafloor

Seafloor litter is widespread across the area assessed; fisheries-related items and plastic materials predominate. The Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast had a higher probability of litter collected than both the Greater North Sea and Celtic Seas. In the Greater North Sea, the probability of litter collected has increased.

OSPAR Commission
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