Marine debris – also called marine litter or, increasingly, ocean plastic – is one of the most widespread challenges the ocean faces. Whether visible (a plastic bag floating on the sea surface; a discarded fishing net snagged on coral) or too tiny for our eyes to see (like the fast-growing problem of microplastics), marine debris now exists nearly everywhere in the world ocean, including at the deepest depths. It is impacting wildlife and the food chain, and has become a concern for ocean planners and managers. The following items offer a primer on the science of marine debris, its impacts, and how practitioners are working to address it.
The OpenChannels Team curates important content into "Top Lists" to offer you a starting point to learn about many topics in ocean planning and management. If you feel critical content is missing from a list, please let us know in the comments section of that list. If you would like to see a new list created, please email Raye Evrard at raye [at] octogroup.org. Thank you!