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Region:    Global

White paper on marine litter from aquaculture Global

Aquaculture Stewardship Council - Project Dates:
May 2019 - September 2019

Description of Project:
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has produced environmental and social standards for a wide variety of aquaculture species.  With the increasing realisation of the impact of plastic waste in marine ecosystems, ASC is exploring the potential for expanding the ASC principles and criteria to include marine litter and abandoned, lost or discarded aquaculture gear to the ASC species standards.  In order to progress this, ASC requested UK-based fisheries consultant Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd to prepare a ‘White Paper’ on the subject

Services Provided:

The White Paper was published on 28 November 2019 and is avaiable at https://www.asc-aqua.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ASC_Marine-Litter-and-Aquaculture-Gear-November-2019.pdf 

The main contents of thepaper as as follows: 

Introduction to the White Paper. This is a short text describing the background to the study, its objective, the methodology and the scope of the proposed criteria

2.      Problem statement. This section outlines the sustainability issues that the criteria address. Referring to scientific publications, it zooms in on the issue of plastic pollution in the sea and its negative impacts.

3.      Marine litter and aquaculture gear due to aquaculture. This section draws on scientific literature and expert knowledge to

a.      The current practices related to the use of plastic materials in aquaculture,

b.      Pathways of plastic pollution from aquaculture on land, in the inter tidal zone and offshore to the marine environment. 

c.       The quantity of marine plastic pollution by aquaculture compare with global volume and sources.

4.      Recommendations. Drawing upon evidence from scientific literature and additional sources, this section identifes and describes measures available to reduce marine litter and aquaculture gear from aquaculture and pathways to the marine environment and the quantity of marine plastic pollution by aquaculture.

5.      Discussion. This final part discusses the current knowledge level and knowledge gaps regarding current practices, pathways to the marine environment and the quantity of marine plastic pollution by aquaculture.