Marine Debris Governance
Marine Debris has become global profound issues due to its impacts on marine ecosystem and human health. OCA has been addressing the issue of marine debris through the following approaches:
Marine debris investigation and monitoring(1)Surveys of floating marine debris have been conducted by research team with the assistance of citizen scientists and the Coast Guard Administration.
(2)Underwater surveys have been conducted by scuba divers to assess the hotspots of marine debris within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), thus helping to conduct the removal work with optimal efficiency.
(3)Microplastics examinations of both water bodies and creatures around the main estuaries of Taiwan have been implemented by research team for the assessment of microplastics concentration and its impacts on marine creatures.
(4)Satellite and artificial intelligence (AI) are developed to expand the scope of marine debris monitoring and improve the efficiency in hotspots tracking.
Marine Debris Removal(1)Financial supports are provided to local governments for removal of marine debris and announcement of related policy.
(2)Ocean Cleanup Alliance was established, fish vessels have been recruited as Environmental Protection Fleet to salvage marine debris, and they are requested bring back their own trash to the temporary storage zones in the fishing harbors for proper disposal. In addition, scuba divers are encouraged to remove marine debris during diving trips with rewards.
(3)Professional divers and crews are sent to marine debris hotspots in the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), to remove marine debris on the seafloor, the work that could be difficult to achieve by recreational divers.
Recycling(1)Recycling of sea-based marine debris such as fishing nets, oyster ropes, aquacultural Styrofoam buoys into consumer products is encouraged, thereby making marine debris a valuable substance, thus preventing the growing of marine debris.
(2)Marine Debris Recycling Coalition was established in 2021 with dozens of members composed of recycling companies, manufactures, research institutions, and financial institutions and well-known brands. The coalition provides a platform for matching the needs for members, local governments, and fishermen’s associations, and connecting source for recycling, manufacturing and turning trash into treasures.
Marine Environmental Education(1)A wide variety of marine environmental education activities are held on National Oceans Day (June 8) every year.
(2)Diverse dissemination such as posters, radio broadcasting, booklets for the public and fishermen, along with multiple-language features for foreign fish workers, with the goal of reducing sea-based marine debris.
Multilateral cooperation(1)National level policies have been implemented:
●Marine Debris Governance Platform and Action Plans regarding the visions of source reduction, prevention and removal, investigation and public-private partnership was established in 2017 by the government in partnership with NGOs.
●“Salute to the Ocean” policy and corresponding program of Coastal Cleanup and Maintenance was implemented from 2020 to 2023 by fifteen agencies under the Executive Yuan. Clear work assignments and approaches of debris cleanup, reduction, proper disposal, transparency and education were set.
(2)Active International collaboration
●Agreements for addressing marine debris were signed to promote international cooperation on technical level.
●Participation in the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) has been ongoing.
●Personnel has been dispatched for participating in multinational conferences, meetings and workshops.