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Marine Litter & Micro Plastics

Marine Litter

In the last few decades, there have been numerous anthropogenic driven changes to our environment and one of the most evident changes is the ubiquity and abundance of litter, particularly, plastics in the marine environment. Microplastics are ubiquitous, tiny plastic particles that have contaminated the marine ecosystem and entered the human food chain. Its presence in the Mariana trench to the polar oceans has been documented. It is widely recognized that pressures and demands on marine resources are often excessive, and a timely action is need of the hour to minimize negative impacts on the marine environment. In order to substantially reduce marine litter and micro-plastics, it is essential to develop a National Marine Litter Policy (NMLP) for the country. Another main objective of this programme is to understand the fate of plastics from the source to sink.

To achieve the above objective, the following activities are being undertaken:

  • Development of methodologies for sampling, analysis and quantification of marine litter and micro-plastics.
  • Quantification of microplastics in the marine environmental matrices (coastal water, sediment, biota, beach, estuary, lagoon, mangrove) along the Indian coast.
  • Numerical modelling, application of remote sensing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning tools and techniques to assess the transport and fate of plastics from the source to sink.
  • Creating awareness among the public on marine litter and its adverse impact, through a citizen science approach.
  • Capacity building at regional and global level through sharing the best practices in management of marine litter
  • Dissemination of scientific information on marine litter and microplastic pollution to formulate National marine litter policy.