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Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00447

Towards the Integrated Marine Debris Observing System

 Nikolai Maximenko1*,  Paolo Corradi2,  Kara L. Law3,  Erik Van Sebille4, Shungudzemwoyo P. Garaba5,  Richard S. Lampitt6,  Francois Galgani7,  Victor Martinez-Vicente8,  Lonneke Goddijn-Murphy9, Joana M. Veiga10, Richard C. Thompson11,  Christophe Maes12,  Delwyn Moller13,  Carolin R. Löscher14,  Anna M. Addamo15,  Megan Lamson16,  Luca R. Centurioni17,  Nicole Posth18,  Rick Lumpkin19,  Matteo Vinci20,  Ana M. Martins21,  Catharina D. Pieper21, Atsuhiko Isobe22, Georg Hanke15, Margo Edwards23,  Irina P. Chubarenko24,  Ernesto Rodriguez25,  Stefano Aliani26,  Manuel Arias27,  Gregory P. Asner28, Alberto Brosich20,  James T. Carlton29, Yi Chao13, Anna-Marie Cook30*, Andrew Cundy31, Tamara S. Galloway32,  Alessandra Giorgetti20,  Gustavo J. Goni19, Yann Guichoux33,  Britta D. Hardesty34,  Neil Holdsworth35, Laurent Lebreton36, Heather A. Leslie37, Ilan Macadam-Somer38, Thomas Mace39,  Mark Manuel40, Robert Marsh41,  Elodie Martinez42, Dan Mayor6, Morgan Le Moigne7,  Maria Eugenia Molina Jack20,  Matt C. Mowlem6,  Rachel W. Obbard43, Katsiaryna Pabortsava6, Bill Robberson30,  Amelia-Elena Rotaru14,  Maria Teresa Spedicato44,  Martin Thiel45,  Alexander Turra46 and  Chris Wilcox34
  • 1International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, United States
  • 2European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Netherlands
  • 3Sea Education Association, United States
  • 4Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (IMAU), Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • 5Marine Sensor Systems, Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Sea, University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • 6National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 7Département Océanographie et Dynamique des Écosystèmes, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, France
  • 8Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom
  • 9Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, United Kingdom
  • 10Deltares, Netherlands
  • 11University of Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • 12Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire (CHU) de Brest, France
  • 13Remote Sensing Solutions, United States
  • 14Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • 15Joint Research Centre (Italy), Italy
  • 16Hawai'i Wildlife Fund, United States
  • 17Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, United States
  • 18Department of Geoscience and Nature Management, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 19Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (NOAA), United States
  • 20National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics, Italy
  • 21Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, University of the Azore, Portugal
  • 22Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Japan
  • 23University of Hawaii, United States
  • 24P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology (RAS), Russia
  • 25NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), United States
  • 26Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Italy
  • 27Argans (United Kingdom), United Kingdom
  • 28Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS), United States
  • 29Williams Mystic, United States
  • 30United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States
  • 31Department of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 32College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 33eOdyn, France
  • 34CSIRO Oceans and Atmopshere, Australia
  • 35International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), Denmark
  • 36The Ocean Cleanup, Netherlands
  • 37Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 38Algalita Marine Research and Education, United States
  • 39Mace Geospatial, LLC, United States
  • 40National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States
  • 41University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 42Laboratoire de physique des océans et de télédétection par satellite (LOPS), France
  • 43Dartmouth College, United States
  • 44COISPA Tecnologia & Ricerca, Italy
  • 45Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile
  • 46Universidade de São Paulo, Bauru, Brazil

Plastics and other artificial materials pose new risks to health of the ocean. Anthropogenic debris travels across large distances and is ubiquitous in the water and on the shorelines, yet, observations of its sources, composition, pathways and distributions in the ocean are very sparse and inaccurate.

Total amounts of plastics and other man-made debris in the ocean and on the shore, temporal trends in these amounts under exponentially increasing production, as well as degradation processes, vertical fluxes and time scales are largely unknown. Present ocean circulation models are not able to accurately simulate drift of debris because of its complex hydrodynamics.
In this paper we discuss the structure of the future integrated marine debris observing system (IMDOS) that is required to provide long-term monitoring of the state of the anthropogenic pollution and support operational activities to mitigate impacts on the ecosystem and safety of maritime activity.

The proposed observing system integrates remote sensing and in situ observations. Also, models are used to optimize the design of the system and, in turn, they will be gradually improved using the products of the system.

Remote sensing technologies will provide spatially coherent coverage and consistent surveying time series at local to global scale. Optical sensors, including high-resolution imaging, multi- and hyperspectral, fluorescence, and Raman technologies, as well as SAR will be used to measure different types of debris. They will be implemented in a variety of platforms, from hand-held tools to ship-, buoy-, aircraft-, and satellite-based sensors.

A network of in situ observations, including reports from volunteers, citizen scientists and ships of opportunity, will be developed to provide data for calibration/validation of remote sensors and to monitor the spread of plastic pollution and other marine debris.

IMDOS will interact with other observing systems monitoring physical, chemical, and biological processes in the ocean and on shorelines as well as state of the ecosystem, maritime activities and safety, drift of sea ice, etc.

The synthesized data will support innovative multi-disciplinary research and serve diverse community of users.

Keywords: Plastics, marine debris, marine litter, Sensor development, Observing network design, Marine debris drift, Plastic pollution, Microplastics, antropogenic debris

Received: 21 Nov 2018; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Sanae Chiba, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan

Reviewed by:

Hans-Peter Plag, Old Dominion University, United States
Rene Garello, IMT Atlantique Bretagne-Pays de la Loire, France  

Copyright: © 2019 Maximenko, Corradi, Law, Van Sebille, Garaba, Lampitt, Galgani, Martinez-Vicente, Goddijn-Murphy, Veiga, Thompson, Maes, Moller, Löscher, Addamo, Lamson, Centurioni, Posth, Lumpkin, Vinci, Martins, Pieper, Isobe, Hanke, Edwards, Chubarenko, Rodriguez, Aliani, Arias, Asner, Brosich, Carlton, Chao, Cook, Cundy, Galloway, Giorgetti, Goni, Guichoux, Hardesty, Holdsworth, Lebreton, Leslie, Macadam-Somer, Mace, Manuel, Marsh, Martinez, Mayor, Le Moigne, Molina Jack, Mowlem, Obbard, Pabortsava, Robberson, Rotaru, Spedicato, Thiel, Turra and Wilcox. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Nikolai Maximenko, International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 96822, Hawaii, United States,
Mrs. Anna-Marie Cook, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C., United States,