Welcome to CleanSea

We create a lot of stuff – we create a lot of waste – and we create marine litter. Packaging, bottles and cans, fishing gear, industrial plastics, cigarette butts and all sort of waste populate our oceans and seas impacting environment (e.g. through ingestion or entanglement), economy (e.g. fisheries and tourism) and society (e.g. human health by introduction through the food chain).

CleanSea
, a large European research project, aims to provide instruments and tools to keep European seas clean, healthy and productive. For doing so, it is improving the knowledge and understanding of marine litter composition, distribution and impact in order to identify strategies and right mix of measures to abate this problem.

CleanSea News

A Circular Economy for a Clean Sea (and more)


Heather A. Leslie, PhD,  CleanSea Project Coordinator

Speech at the European Parliament at Seas at Risk Symposium. Brussels, 4th November 2014

How can practice examples contribute to the reduction and management of marine litter in Germany?

This was the central question of the last CleanSea Baltic Sea stakeholders workshop celebrated on 14th November at Ecologic Institute in Berlin.

Stakeholders from German administration, industry, scientific community and environmental NGOs, together with the project team of CleanSea focused their discussion on the added value of practice examples in relation to current policies and management approaches.

Green Deals for a clean sea and clean beaches: the new Dutch export product?

CleanSea researchers are currently analyzing the Dutch Green Deals approach in terms of its (potential) effectiveness. They also aim to explore whether this approach can be exported to other EU member states. Major sources of marine litter are shipping, fishing, and recreation activities. To tackle the waste problems in these sectors, the Dutch government is pioneering its so-called Green Deals approach. These deals are based on voluntary commitments of stakeholders to take concrete measures, with the government in a facilitating role.

Reinforcing awareness raising in Romania

National Institute for Marine Research and Development (NIMRD Constanta) researchers have placed special efforts on raising awareness of the consequences of social behaviour over waste production and management. They are trying to promote co-responsibility among different "actors" to define a collective vision and facilitate sustainable reasons for concerted action.  To this aim they have participated to public events where they presented CleanSea .

Microlitter found in 85% of investigated samples of invertebrate biota

In the most idyllic sceneries that surround us we are becoming increasingly accustomed to seeing human-made litter such as foodwrappers and ciggarettebuds. Recent science has found that it is not only on our beaches but also at the bottom of the oceans [1], in remote lakes [2] and at South Pole [3]. One of the main reasons that plastic is such a popular material is its persistence, which also explains the widespread detection of microplastics; it takes a very long time for it to break down. Instead it fragments to smaller and smaller pieces.

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