The 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) took place in September from the 18th – 23rd in Busan, Republic of Korea. This was an important worldwide event attracting governments, industry professionals and relevant stakeholders to share the latest science, develop strong relationships and collaborations and discuss solutions to the serious issue of marine debris.
Tangaroa Blue Foundation were honoured to be able to participate in this event, with CEO Heidi Tait travelling to the conference to share the findings of Tangaroa Blue projects and the importance of the independent, citizen science led Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database plays in the marine debris and source reduction space.
Check out some of the highlights of the conference below.
Long-term partners reunite
Tangaroa Blue have been long-term partners with International Pellet Watch (IPW) who are a volunteer-based global monitoring program designed to monitor the pollution status of our oceans and we have been sending samples of plastic resin pellets collected on clean-ups over to them since 2007. IPW tests these samples for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which are bioaccumulative by nature and have adverse effects on marine organisms and humans. Using this data, they can identify the magnitude and spatial variability of POPs in marine plastics for risk assessment.
We usually have to post these samples overseas, so it was pretty exciting that Heidi was able to personally hand over our recent set of monitoring samples from Western Australia to Bee Geok at the 7IMDC Conference.
Teach. Tackle. Transform.
This session showcased examples of how environmental issues and ocean literacy can be embedded in educational curriculum for schools, community education resources and built into replicable and scalable models through case studies from around the world.
Heidi represented Tangaroa Blue Foundation as a panellist alongside International Waste Platform, Indonesian Waste Platform, Thant Myanmar, Sustainable Seas Trust as well as Dr. Cressida Boywer from the University of Portsmouth and Prof. Biju Kumar from the University of Kerala.
The power of Citizen Science
Standing in front of the poster they created together, Jordan Gacutan from Global Ocean Accounts, Dr Graeme Clark from UNSW and Heidi, were able to meet up at the 7IMDC Conference.
The poster titled ‘Citizen science supports integrated marine debris monitoring and management at multiple scales’ was presented at the conference and highlights the importance of citizen science in providing larger opportunities to measure and manage marine debris on a wider scale.
It was a great opportunity to talk about how the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) is advancing citizen science and discuss the strategies used to increase this data quality.
We are committed
Heidi Tait, on behalf of Tangaroa Blue Foundation, announced our commitment to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) in a short video.
Take a look at that announcement here.