Data quantification on marine debris
The information provided by the farmers to the insurance companies regarding their facilities in place and what is lost after a large storm event could help to identify the items that are more vulnerable in a critical situation and, therefore, to reduce the damages and losses. Generate knowledge on which type of litter comes from which type of aquaculture, creating a database that quantifies the contribution per type of category. This allows to estimate the correlation between the type and amount of aquaculture produced and the potential litter associated. Increase synergies among academia, policy makers and farmers for a common understanding and knowledge of aquaculture marine litter quantification. Estimate losses based on the information provided by the farmers to the insurance companies regarding their facilities in place (main structures, important elements, gear, etc) and what is lost after a large storm event. Train professionals and volunteers to characterise and differentiate the non-organic marine litter related to aquaculture from other sectors. Adapt the list of found items and characterized categories in the standardised monitoring forms, in response to the changing market of aquaculture gear. Standardise monitoring protocols and characterization of marine litter derived from aquaculture facilities at a national level Standardise monitoring protocols and characterization of marine litter derived from aquaculture facilities at an international level The standardization protocols and characterization of marine litter should also apply, as far as possible, to the litter produced in inland facilities. This action would help to keep better track of all types of aquaculture waste. Enforce marine litter monitoring in aquaculture plants using the correlation between biomass and material losses. Especially for mussel farming, biomass loss provoked by storms or any other environmental cause can be easily quantified by farmers. This can be used to estimate the gear loss (e.g. mussels nets) by correlating the two factors. Improve the marine litter quantification around the farms, which needs to be included in the monitoring programme of the water quality (not only of the seafloor). Not everything can be monitored and reported. The target should be defined depending on the item size, the type of material and durability. The impact of the lost material on the environment should be decisive. Plastic is a priority (e.g. polyethylene). Monitoring schemes should be based on the LCA, depending on the materials and the infrastructures put in place. There is no specification on which and how much of specific materials are wasted by an aquaculture farm. Those companies mostly know the total amount of waste produced but not the amount of waste per type of material. Waste companies should provide statistics on waste types produced by companies, to help them improve their systems. A way to track the collected litter from the marine environment would be to bring it to the harbor, weigh it and, after that, to give a receipt of the kg that have been collected by the company. This would help to monitor how much is being collected and would encourage/facilitate the recycling, as it could be brought to/picked up by the waste manager directly.