Thirty passionate individuals from Algeria participated in a captivating two-day immersive training workshop focused on marine litter. The workshop, organized by the EU-funded “Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood region” project in collaboration with CNFE ”Conservatoire National des Formations à l’Environnement,” aimed to empower participants with cutting-edge techniques to monitor marine litter and implement effective mitigation measures.

Taking place on May 30-31, 2023, in the scenic coastal wilaya of Ain Temouchent, the workshop provided an ideal setting for knowledge exchange and skill development. The participants eagerly embraced this opportunity to deepen their understanding of marine litter challenges and explore state-of-the-art monitoring methodologies and mitigation approaches.

The workshop unfolded in a well-structured manner, consisting of two main components. The first day commenced with theoretical sessions, immersing the attendees in the latest research and policy advances relevant to marine litter monitoring at Mediterranean, European, and national level. Experts also delved into various monitoring techniques while debunking myths and misconceptions surrounding marine litter.

On the second day, the workshop transitioned to practical sessions, allowing participants to actively engage in seafloor litter monitoring surveys and gain valuable insights into the current state of the local marine ecosystem. Equipped with the necessary skills, the participants learned how to translate their marine litter observations into meaningful, fit-for-purpose data; the seafloor litter survey revealed a relatively high litter density of 11 litter items/100m2, with the majority of recorded items being shopping bags, metal beverage containers and fishing related items. During the second day, the participants were introduced to several showcases of applied marine litter mitigation measures, fostering an exploration of practical solutions.

Amidst the intense learning experience, the participants rallied together to make a tangible impact on the local environment. An exhilarating speed cleanup activity was organized on the nearby beach, demonstrating their commitment to preserving the coastal ecosystem.

However, the true highlight of the workshop was the countless engaging discussions held among the participants. These conversations proved invaluable in addressing the pervasive issue of marine litter. By sharing ideas, experiences, and innovative approaches, the participants fostered a strong sense of collaboration, ensuring their collective efforts will contribute to a cleaner and healthier ocean for generations to come.

The workshop served as a catalyst for positive change,” remarked Dr. Thomais Vlachogianni, WES Marine Litter Expert & Senior Programme/Policy Officer at MIO-ECSDE, one of the organizers. “We are thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and dedication displayed by the Algerian participants. Their commitment to tackling marine litter is commendable, and we are confident that their newfound knowledge and practical skills will lead to tangible results in safeguarding our marine environment.

Read in French here