JPI Oceans work to understand microplastics in the oceans

Microplastics in the oceans is an increasing problem and have many sources and enters the oceans through a broad range of vectors. To reduce the amount of micro plastics in the oceans, we need to know the source and the pathways. JPI Oceans have since 2015 worked to increase the understanding of microplastics in the oceans. The first 4 projects have been finalised and JPI Oceans have launched a second call of 10,5 million euro for transnational research project on microplastics.

 Microplastics in the oceans is an increasing problem. However, knowledge about the origin, size, and range of microplastics as well as its impact in marine systems is still limited. Microplastics have many sources and enters the oceans through a broad range of vectors. One source is equipment from ocean related industries like fishing and aquaculture as well as the maritime and the petroleum industry. Lost equipment like fishing gear, an already internationally recognized ecological problem, is also expected to be a source of microplastics.  To reduce the amount of micro plastics we need to know the source and the pathways. JPI Oceans have since 2015 worked to increase the understanding of microplastics in the oceans. The first 4 projects have been finalised and JPI Oceans have launched a second call of 10,5 million euro for transnational research project on microplastics.

New funding opportunities


Building on the results from the first projects completed in January 2019 and recent scientific findings, thirteen JPI Oceans member countries together with Latvia and Brazil launch a new call of approximately 10,5 million euro for transnational research projects. The call intends to increase the knowledge about the relevant sources of microplastics, analytical methods for identifying smaller micro- and nano-plastics, monitoring their distribution and abundance in marine systems and their effects thereon as well as concepts to reduce inputs of plastic into the marine environment. 

Through this new call, JPI Oceans is aiming to promote European and transatlantic research cooperation on the issue, and contribute to the Regional Seas Conventions, to the implementation of the Belém Statement as well as G7, G20 and UN aims of reducing (micro-) plastic pollution in the ocean.

 

About the first JPI Oceans call on microplastics


Microplastics are persistent environmental contaminants whose potential for physical harm and toxicity has been highlighted in various studies. However, knowledge about the origin, size, and range of microplastics in marine systems is still limited.

In the interest of protecting marine habitats and ensuring the safety of marine resources and seafood, JPI Oceans launched the first call on microplastics in 2015. Four transnational research projects were granted funding:

·         BASEMAN: Defining baselines and standards for microplastics analyses in European Waters

·         WEATHER-MIC: How microplastic weathering changes its transport, fate and toxicity in the marine environment.

·         PLASTOX: Direct and indirect ecotoxicological impacts of microplastics and POPs on marine organisms.

·         EPHEMARE: Ecotoxicological effects of microplastics on marine ecosystems

Overall the projects take stock of, evaluate and improve current methods for microplastic research. Given the relatively recent emergence of microplastic research, there is a lack of harmonised and validated research methodologies for the quantification and qualification of plastic particles in sediment, organisms and in the water column.

If you are interested in more information about the project, please check the JPI Ocean website: http://www.jpi-oceans.eu/ecological-aspects-microplastics       

 

What is JPI Oceans?


JPI Oceans (Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans) is an intergovernmental platform that strives to increase the impact of national investments in marine and maritime research and innovation. By joining forces, JPI Oceans focuses on long-term collaboration between EU Member States and Associated Countries and international partners. The platform provides its member countries with a shared voice, strategic agenda and action plan to address complex ocean-related societal challenges that cannot be solved at national level.

The vision of JPI Oceans is to enable Blue Growth and jobs, whilst fostering the health and productivity of seas and oceans and addressing the resources of climate change and human impacts on the oceans.

JPI Oceans adds to the value of national research and innovation investments by aligning national priorities and implementing joint actions through various mechanisms and tools. The size and scope of each action will vary depending on the research needs and the method used will depend upon the objective.

JPI Oceans’ strategy and actions also contribute to the EU policies, such as the EU 2020 strategy, the Blue Growth agenda and Directives such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as global commitments such as COP21 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information, please contact

·         Willem De Moor - willem.demoor@jpi-oceans.eu

·         Jacky Wood - jacky.wood@jpi-oceans.eu