Sixth International Marine Debris Conference

Monday 12 March 2018 - Friday 16 March 2018

San Diego, Californiam, USA

Sixth International Marine Debris Conference(6IMDC), as announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and UN Environment,  will bring together more than 600 participants from around the world, including policy and decision makers, multinational agencies, coastal and ocean resource managers, waste management representatives, scientists, planners, academics, public sector groups, private industry, academia, and civil society. With attendees traveling from around the globe, the 6IMDC will facilitate connections and transcend geographic boundaries, bringing the marine debris community together.

Dr Matthew Cole and Dr Victor Martinez-Vicente will both be attending this event and chairing sessions.

View the programme

Tuesday March 13, 8:30-12:00: Effects of microplastics on fish and invertebrates
Session Chairs: Chelsea Rochman, University of Toronto; Matthew Cole, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

This session focuses on new experimental evidence regarding the impacts of microplastics on fish and invertebrates in aquatic ecosystems.

Microplastic pollution has been identified in habitats and animals, in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, from all over the world. Microplastics contaminate every level of aquatic foodchains, from the smallest zooplankton to the largest vertebrates. This begs the question: how does microplastic impact animals that become contaminated via ingestion or absorption? The weight of evidence regarding impacts is rapidly increasing. This session aims to highlight new findings that demonstrate the effects that microplastic (and associated co-contaminants) can have upon fish and invertebrates. This session will highlight both field and laboratory research investigating how microplastic exposure can affect fish and invertebrates at multiple levels of biological organization. Scientific presentations in this session will contribute novel findings, work to close some of the key research gaps relating to plastic pollution, and address topics relevant to policy change.

Tuesday March 13 15:30-17:00


Session Chairs: Nikolai Maximenko, University of Hawaii; Delwyn Moller, Remote Sensing Solutions; Bertrand Chapron, IFREMER; Paolo Carradi, ESTEC; Victor Martinez Vicente, Plymouth MAarine Laboratory

This session is catered to engineers, scientists and responders who will overview remote technologies available for surveillance of marine debris and factors, controlling its drift, and present existing products, results of their applications and ideas for future missions.
Traditional methods based on counting marine debris items provide fragmentary information not sufficient to help close regional and global balances of the plastic pollution. Only remote sensing, covering great areas, can fill gaps in sparse in situ point observations. Complex composition of debris, including broad ranges of sizes, shapes, and chemical composition, makes it not possible to observe all types with any single sensor.
This session will have presentations demonstrating feasibility or publishing new ideas of remote sensing technology that can help identify, quantify, and/or track various types of plastic pollution or other types of marine debris on the ocean surface or on the shoreline.
Understanding the drift of marine debris in the ocean requires good knowledge of the dynamics of the ocean-atmosphere surface circulation and is important for a growing list of operational activities, such as search and rescue and response to oil spills. Presently, even large objects can't be followed by the satellite observing system. Examples include missing flight MH370 and millions of tons of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan and 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, whose pathways and fate are not known or known very vaguely.


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