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pdf IP078: Plastic Pollution in the Southern Ocean

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IP078: Plastic Pollution in the Southern Ocean

ATCM XLV and CEP XXV 2023, Helsinki, Finland

Information Paper

IP078: Plastic Pollution in the Southern Ocean

Submitted: 27 April 2023


Plastic pollution has been reported in the Southern Ocean for at least the past four decades. It is important to understand the origins of plastics, their transport routes and their distribution in the Southern Ocean, sub-Antarctic islands and continental Antarctica. There is an urgent need to assess the impact of macro-, micro-, and nanoplastics on the environment and biota, and how these interact with other anthropogenic stressors, such as toxic chemicals, fisheries, ocean acidification, and climate change. We highlight the benefits of introducing standardised monitoring and impact assessment methodologies and tools, as well as the importance of increased global cooperation in addressing the issues of plastic pollution in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

ATCM - Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
CEP - Committee for Environmental Protection
45th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
29 May - 8 June 2023