Development of the Western Indian Ocean Action Plan on Marine Litter and Microplastics
Marine litter and microplastics has recently taken a top slot in the political and public agenda on the health and integrity of the world’s oceans (Galgani et al. 2015; UNEP 2016). Over 80% of marine pollution that constitute marine litter and microplastics is from land based sources (GESAMP 1991; Sheavly 2005), largely associated with diverse anthropogenic activities such as increasing use of synthetic materials, industrialization and urbanization of coastal areas, where disposal and waste management practices are inadequate (Chen, 2015). To effectively manage marine litter, an adequate knowledge is necessary about drivers, sources, types, amount and dispersion. Policy measures are then needed to address the generation of marine litter and microplastics, in particular those that can be prevented at the sources (Veiga et al. 2016).
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