Marine Litter Working Group – Data Collections

One of the issues identified by the SIF MLWG was the lack of data to demonstrate the scale of the problem. With this support they have developed a Marine Litter Methodology, linking into the Marine Conservation Society, which is tailored to the unique challenges of the islands.

In 2023 we held 4 different marine litter collection events and in total around 100 marine litter collection events were completed. The data from the first collection – Winter 2023 was compared to the data from the beach cleans around Scotland and it showed a different picture.

Source – Data from the SIF – MLWG collections Winter 2023 and the Marine Conservation Society

Now in 2024 we are continuing to gather data from the shores around the Scottish Islands so we can look in more detail at the sources and solutions.

In 2024 the SIF-Marine Litter Working Group are holding 4 data collection months throughout the year. Dates are:

  • Winter – February 2024
  • Spring – April 2024
  • Summer – September 2024 (including the Great British Beach Clean)
  • Autumn – November 2024

The objective of gathering the marine litter data and analysing it is to understand what is coming onto the shores around the Scottish Islands.

We carry out this activity in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society. SIF have their own forms which are tailored to the various Scottish Islands and the increased impact of fishing and acquaculture. However we also record all the items as per the Marine Conservation Society forms. We also carry out training sessions in conjunction with their Beach Watch team. Through this data we are working with other organisations and academics to search for solutions to the challenge of plastic and to identify improvements

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