Tackling the Firth of Clyde’s marine litter

Marine Litter tangled up in the strandline at Arrochar. Photo credit: CMPP
Marine Litter tangled up in the strandline at Arrochar. Photo credit: CMPP

The problem of marine litter in the Firth of Clyde is to be tackled at an event later this month.

Marine litter in the Firth of Clyde is a well-documented and wide-ranging issue affecting many communities, beaches and the wider marine environment.

In some cases, such as after extreme weather and storms or in areas where marine litter is more likely to gather (known as litter sinks) such as at the heads of sea lochs and along the shores of the Firth of Clyde, it places extra burden on Local Authorities to deal with the problem.

Inefficient waste management, littering and sewage related debris from combined sewage overflow all contribute to the problem and in Scotland, 80% of marine litter comes from land based sources. The resulting effect is that litter is found in every estuary, sea and ocean around the world.

Field Studies Council Millport, in collaboration with the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership (CMPP) and other partner organisations including the RSPB, Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) and the Open University, will hold a Clyde Marine Litter symposium on the 26th November, Millport, to discuss and share practical advice and experiences in dealing with marine litter.

The event will culminate in a workshop considering policy options to deal with marine litter.

Isabel Glasgow, Chairperson of the CMPP said: “The CMPP is very pleased to be involved in this event and we look forward to the discussions on the day which will help generate solutions to the problem of marine litter in the Clyde and feed into the Regional Marine Plan.

“The collaborative nature of the event and looking at different perspectives from different communities around the region will also help raise awareness of the size of the problem and support the need for more integrated action-thinking about land based solutions as well as considering the ultimate impact on the marine environment.”

Talks on the day will include a look at the latest science around micro-plastics and their impact on the Firth of Clyde, sharing best practise on litter picking activities and ways we can prevent litter entering the marine system. The event will culminate in a workshop exploring how marine planning can shape policy to address marine litter. This event builds on work done locally by individuals, community councils, Local Authorities and charities.

The CMPP is a regionally based stakeholder organisation which will take forward regional marine planning in the Firth of Clyde. Marine planning aims to co-ordinate all the activities which happen at sea (such as shipping, transport, recreation, fishing, aquaculture, renewable energy) to reduce conflict and maintain balance with environmental protection and sustainable development.

For the full programme and booking information please see: www.field-studies-council.org/individuals-and-families/courses/2017/mi-(1)/clyde-litter-symposium.aspx.