Research & Monitoring

LINKS: Presentation & Poster AbstractsSubmit Your Abstract | Response & Removal | Research & Monitoring | International, Regional, & Cross-sectoral Partnerships | Outreach & Education | Technology | Governance

Below is a list of  sessions within the Research & Monitoring conference track.

Monitoring and reducing the impact of ‘ghost’ fishing by derelict fishing traps Lost or abandoned (derelict) commercial fishing traps can present safety, nuisance, and environmental impacts in estuarine and marine waters. Various shellfish and finfish species that are entrapped and die in derelict traps can act as an attractant resulting in a self-baiting effect and a continual impact.  Derelict fishing traps can damage sensitive habitats and can continue to capture both target and by-catch species. This session will examine various programs that are addressing derelict trap loss and subsequent by-catch issues and will explore options to minimize the overall adverse impact of lost traps.
Chair: Kirk Havens, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Environmental impacts of chemicals in marine plasticsIn this session, scientist will provide overview of the latest researches on chemicals in marine plastics and their potential biological effects.  The fields include uptake of plastics by marine organisms, characterization of chemicals in the marine plastics, sorption and desorption processes of the chemicals from the plastics, and adverse effects of the plastic-derived chemicals on marine biota.  The session will facilitate the studies and activities to reduce the plastic inputs from terrestrial environments and abundance of plastics and chemical risk in the ocean.
Chair: Hideshige Takada,PhD, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Microplastic in the environment: Causes and consequencesPlastic debris is common in most marine habitats. In addition to conspicuous items of debris such as packaging, rope, and netting, fragments and pieces of microplastic have also accumulated in the marine environment from the poles to the equator. These fragments appear to have formed from the breakdown of larger items of debris and from the direct release of small pieces used in a range of cleaning processes and the release of pre-production pellets and powders. This session will examine the scale of the problem in terms of its spatial extent and will also consider temporal trends in the abundance microplastic debris. Approaches to quantify microplastic debris will be examined together with assessments of the potential environmental consequences, both physical and toxicological, for marine life. The session will also consider potential solutions together with directions for future research and policy.
Chair: Richard Thompson, PhD, University of Plymouth, UK
Co-chair: Mark Browne, PhD, University College Dublin

Wildlife entanglement in marine debris: Assessment and responseThe session will focus on measuring the rates of marine animal entanglement and detecting changes in the rates of marine animal entanglement as they relate to efforts to remove marine debris from the environment.  It will bringing together responders from the marine animal health and stranding network with marine debris prevention, removal, and detection experts.  The session will also provide opportunities for international dialog regarding marine debris the direct effects on the marine environment and the opportunity to share experiences, tools, methods and strategies for responding to marine animal entanglement.  (This session is cross-listed with response and removal.)
Chair: Michael Williams, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (Alaska)
Co-chair: David Schofield, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Protected Resources Division

Citizen scientists and marine debris monitoring: Standardizing methods and establishing a databaseThis session will be geared toward both marine scientists and the lay ocean enthusiast and will address the significance of standardizing and simplifying debris monitoring and analysis methods to allow for volunteer citizen scientists to participate in data collection, leading to the development of a long term database.  The focus will be on ways to design methodology and sampling equipment in such a manner that they are accessible and safe for a wide user-base, while still producing data that is valuable to governments and the scientific community.  While the conversation will be open to all aspects of marine debris monitoring (near-shore monitoring, benthic sampling, monitoring of beach debris, pelagic sampling, etc.), it will focus on engaging boaters as volunteer scientists for at-sea collection of debris using surface trawls.  The session will allow for the scientific community to share on what data they desire, give input on how to obtain it, and to share how citizen scientists can be most helpful to marine debris research efforts.
Chair: Nicole Chatterson, Sea of Change
Co-chair: Joel Pashal, Sea of Change

Risk analysis: Using predictions of the source and distribution of marine debris to assess their impactsUnderstanding the impact of marine debris is fundamental for making appropriate management responses to the problem.  A risk analysis perspective on the problem provides a useful and cost-effective approach – combining the likelihood is that species interact with debris with a prediction or assumption about the likely impact of the interactions yields an expectation of the magnitude of the biodiversity risk posed by marine debris.  This session will include the following topics: applying novel approaches to predict sources of marine debris, identifying the distribution and fate of marine debris, and performing risk analysis for marine debris impacts.  This session will bring researchers working in these areas together, examine different approaches to estimating the at sea distribution of debris, and evaluate how marine debris estimates might be combined with predictions of impacts on marine biota in an effort to develop large scale risk analyses for particular species or taxonomic groups.
Chair: Denise Hardesty, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Co-chair: Chris Wilcox, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

Designing meaningful protocols for monitoring marine debrisThis session is focused towards researchers who are developing scientific monitoring programs to assess the distribution, amount, types, and impacts of marine debris.  Environments considered include shorelines, wetlands, watersheds, surface waters, the water column, and the benthos.  An emphasis will be placed on statistical rigor, determination of environmental covariates that may affect debris movement and breakdown, development of standard procedures and sampling schemes, and methods of reporting results to appropriate audiences.  Further, this session will emphasize the need to first determine the question that will guide the monitoring program.
Chair: TBD
Co-chair: TBD

Ocean voyages to study and quantify pelagic debrisThis session will place a focus on the many ocean voyages that have documented marine debris across the global oceans.  This includes voyages specifically meant to study and quantify pelagic debris, as well as research and other vessels that opportunistically study debris on “ships of opportunity.”  This session seeks to provide a framework for potentially disparate observations from all across the globe, and bring together researchers and marine debris observers to discuss the best way to utilize these voyages to study and quantify the marine debris problem.
Chair: TBD
Co-chair: TBD

Modeling marine debris transport and movementThis session was formed from an influx of abstracts that focus on marine debris movement and transport in aquatic environments.  Presentations will cover a variety of topics but are linked in the common discussion of fate and transport of different types of marine debris.  As this session contains information useful to the “Risk Analysis” session, it will be scheduled directly before that session.
Chair: TBD
Co-chair: TBD

Results and synthesis of marine debris monitoring projectsThis session was formed from an influx of abstracts that report the results of marine debris monitoring surveys.  This is important information, but distinct from other sessions that focus on best practices and methods for monitoring debris on beaches and in water.  Presentations in this session will focus on reporting results from monitoring surveys.  Discussion of these results is encouraged, and could include (but is not limited to) a discussion of the major types of debris, spatial variation, oceanographic and environmental parameters, and temporal trends in debris concentrations.
Chair: TBD
Co-chair: TBD

Biological impacts of marine debrisThis session was formed from an influx of abstracts that discuss the interaction of marine debris with the biological aspects of marine ecosystems.  The focus of this session is to better understand the interactions of debris with marine species and to elucidate the broader impacts of debris on marine communities.  Presentations will cover a host of different topics but are linked by the common focus on specific biological impacts that marine debris has on aquatic ecosystems.
Chair: TBD
Co-chair: TBD

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