Marine debris has been identified as a significant risk to biodiversity, economies, human health, fisheries management, tourism, and invasive species transport. Most marine debris, with estimates up to 80% or more, comes from land-based sources. Surveying litter along coastal areas is an important and low-cost way to build a dataset that can enable long-term assessment and monitoring of marine debris. However, because most waste that is lost into the marine environment comes from land-based sources, we are better poised to understand where, why and when waste is leaked into the environment when we have information from across the landscape (rather than only in coastal areas).
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is undertaking project of the world’s largest marine pollution survey, working with countries across the globe to help them assess and reduce the amount of litter entering the oceans. The research project would provide hard numbers on the amount of litter entering the ocean by using real data collected on coastlines and cities across the globe. Some of the world’s top 20 polluters will take part in the project including China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and the United States, plus other countries including Australia, South Korea and Taiwan.
In Vietnam, CSIRO in partnership with Centre for Supporting Green development (GreenHub) to conduct the survey and capacity building for methods of the research as the foundation for a marine debris monitoring program.