Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme.

OS4.12/BG3.15OS4.12/ BG3.15

Plastic in the aquatic environment: observing and explaining where it comes from and where it goes? (co-organized) 
Convener: Jörg-Olaf Wolff  | Co-conveners: Richard Lampitt , Ilka Peeken , Anna Rubio , Stefanie Rynders 
Plastic contamination has been reported in all realms of the marine environment from the tropics to the polar oceans. The consequences of this contamination may be severe for aquatic ecosystems and could adversely affect ecosystem services such as fisheries and even human health. Our poor knowledge of aquatic plastics abundance, their composition, sizes, pathways and fate prevents an assessment of environmental risks and the development of appropriate mitigation strategies. In order to understand current distributions of plastics and the way they evolve in space and time, much better observations and common consistent measuring methods are required but simultaneously, observations must be combined with computational models of rivers, estuaries, oceans and sea ice. This requires improved standardized accurate observations and the development of advanced modelling capabilities to quantify and predict contamination levels.

The session aims to set up a forum for multi-disciplinary discussions to create a global picture of plastic contamination in the aquatic environment and to suggest approaches for future research, monitoring and mitigation of plastic pollutions impacts. The session will provide a framework to advise legislators and industry on the best ways to reduce the risks of serious damage from this contaminant.

This session will draw together data on plastic contamination across all sizes of plastics, from nano- and micro-plastics to large plastic fragments, and across all aquatic environments and locations. It will combine observations with state-of-the-art computational modelling to promote the fast advance of research and improve our understanding of how plastic pollution affects aquatic environments worldwide. We invite contributions on new methods and field observations, laboratory experiments, novel modelling approaches, related scientific initiatives and projects. New ideas for citizen-science involvement and for mitigation strategies to reduce aquatic plastic contamination are especially welcome.

Invited speaker: Prof. Dr. Erik van Sebille