MIO-ECSDE, as consortium member of the EU-funded SWIM-Horizon 2020 Support Mechanism, together with the Moroccan Authorities organized a very successful training on how to properly monitor Marine Litter, on 19-20 October 2017 in Tangier, Morocco, following a similar training held last month in Egypt.

The workshop participants were introduced to the theme of marine litter, its sources and impacts, key issues (technical, environmental, economic, health, cultural and social) related to marine litter, to improve knowledge on the quantities, types and sources of marine litter in the coastal areas of Tangier Tetouan-Al Hoceima and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra. They were also informed on how to strengthen capacity, monitor marine litter at beach level in a harmonized manner, increase awareness of marine litter and management options, as well as the main legislative framework to combat marine litter, namely the Barcelona Convention Regional Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean.

More than 35 officials of Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, representatives of Local Authorities, NGOs, Research Institutes and Academia were successfully trained to contribute to the depollution of the Coastal Zones of the Tangiers Tetouan-Al Hoceima and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra.

The participants gained an overview of the ‘best’ available techniques and methodologies for monitoring marine litter in the coastal and marine environment. Most importantly, they had the opportunity to get acquainted step-by-step with the methodology for monitoring marine macro-litter on beaches and gain hands-on experience on how to perform beach litter surveys and interpret the results.

The participants carried out marine litter pilot surveys on a beach near Tangiers with the participation of stakeholders from the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region. More surveys are expected to be carried out before the end of the project.

Throughout the workshop emphasis was given to the practical implementation of the three marine litter indicators adopted within the Barcelona Convention Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and Related Assessment Criteria (IMAP – Decision IG.22/7). In addition, best practice awareness raising actions on marine litter were showcased and a snapshot survey for the collective identification of the marine litter priority awareness raising actions was carried out.

Soon, a similar training will be carried out in Algiers, Algeria.