DOI: 10.3390/su152316490 ISSN: 2071-1050

A Mediterranean Focus Overview of EU Marine Litter Data Management Performed in the Framework of the European Marine Observation and Data Network Chemistry

Maria Eugenia Molina Jack, Alessandro Altenburger, Gwenaël Caer, Alexia Cociancich, Tomaso Fortibuoni, Francois Galgani, Alessandra Giorgetti, Elena Partescano, Amandine Thomas, Matteo Vinci
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

The Mediterranean Sea is an almost completely closed basin connecting several countries. Its configuration leads to its peculiarity and richness, but the intensive activities within the basin and along the coast aggravate the ecological conditions. The existing regulatory European Framework for environmental protection has already been in place through a series of legal instruments for almost 20 years. In this context, open science could play a fundamental role. The existing data must become findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) to provide stakeholders and decision-makers with the instruments to understand how to improve the available information and support decisions based on the best set of existing information. Since 2009, the European Marine Observation and Data Network, EMODnet, has provided access to high-quality marine information supporting research and stakeholders’ mission and objectives. Data related to pollution are collated, validated, and published using standard protocols, formats, and vocabularies, thus becoming FAIR. For marine litter, a detailed and qualified data management system for macro- and microlitter in diverse compartments was structured. Some of these data and metadata were already used to calculate the first coastline litter baselines based on harmonized and FAIR datasets (2012–2016). The availability of these data related to the Mediterranean area is relevant, but additional work is required.

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