‘Dolly rope’. Not many people know this name, but some may recognize what it is. All around the North Sea coast, when strolling along the shoreline, chances are that you will notice blue or orange plastic threads sticking out of the sand. These threads may look familiar because they resemble fishing line, but they are actually dolly rope threads. Dolly rope is the name for orange or blue plastic threads that are used to protect (the cod-end) of bottom trawling nets against wear and tear. Every year, thousands of kilos of dolly rope end up in the sea. Within the DollyRopeFree project, we are working on solutions to prevent this from happening.
While the impacts of microplastics in marine ecosystems have been reported in the literature since the 1970s, many questions remain open. MICRO 2018 provides an opportunity to share available knowledge, fill in gaps, identify new questions and research needs, and develop commitments to operationalise solutions; MICRO 2018 will be a chance to reconvene, share what we have learned, and generate momentum for the work that remains to be done.