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BIOINDICATORS FOR MARINE LITTER IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

The Mediterranean Sea has been described as one of the areas most affected by marine litter in the world. Despite the uncertainties and gaps in knowledge concerning the exact quantities, fate and biotic impacts of marine litter, current evidence is more than sufficient to highlight the urgent need to implement mitigation measures across the entire Mediterranean basin.
The main objective of this document is to review the current knowledge on the impact of marine litter on Mediterranean biodiversity and to propose a methodological approach to assessing marine debris and its impacts in the Sea, using marine organisms as bioindicator species and applying a new integrated monitoring tool to help develop and implement future governance and mitigation actions at basin scale.
Bioindicator species play an essential role in monitoring marine litter at basin scale, and a harmonized approach to the choice of selection criteria, developed by the Plastic Busters project partners, is presented (http://plasticbusters.unisi.it/). This document aims to contribute to understanding the fate and impacts of marine litter, and (i) reviews the information currently available on the impact of marine litter on Mediterranean marine organisms, (ii) defines selection criteria for the choice of bioindicator species, (iii) proposes a multiphase monitoring approach to detecting the presence and impact of marine litter in bioindicator species, and (iv) identifies gaps and further development needed.

ISBN
printed version 978-88-961-5107-5
e-book version 978-88-961-5106-8

 

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