Now Available: Our Annual Marine Debris Report

A year of monitoring coastal ecosystems of Benguerra Island has provided the team with extensive data on the marine debris found. As part of the Ocean Observatory’s Research Theme 4: Marine Debris Monitoring, during 42 collections a total of 125 hours were spent removing marine debris, yielding more than 1500 kgs.

The five designated areas, pictured below, cover various hectares of beach, mudflats, seagrass and mangrove habitat. These habitats are crucially connected to the ocean, whether it is the mangrove forests providing shelter for juvenile fish species and protecting the villages from storms, of the seagrass meadows providing excellent living conditions for numerous crustacean and fish species and supplying the last viable dugong population of Africa with food. These ecosystems are also efficient carbon sequestering habitats – stocking blue carbon so it does not end up in the atmosphere.

In 2023, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Universal Plastic, an organisation aiming to close the cycle on plastic pollution by leveraging AI and blockchain technology in order to track the origins of plastic debris, while providing a powerful, global database. The BCSS team enters all collected plastic marine debris to the Universal Plastic database using their application. The app can be used for capturing plastic waste data, AI measurements and classification, initiating waste collections or joining already scheduled ones.

The report includes more information on our collaboration with Universal Plastic, our methodology, visualisations of the data and much more. 

For questions about this article, please contact:
Ekaterina Kalashnikova, Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies

Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies
Host of the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time series research in Africa, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies (BCSS) was established in 2017 as in independent, non-profit organisation with a mission to protect and support the fragile ecosystems of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. The research station is located on Benguerra Island, off the coast of Mozambique.

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