Marine Litter in Nordic waters

image of Marine Litter in Nordic waters

This report provides an overview of the currently available data from studies on marine litter in the Nordic countries. This covers various field studies on amount, distribution, characteristics and impact of macro- and micro-litter particles. The data reported can provide a good basis for prioritisation of activities, especially having the establishment of marine litter indicators for EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive monitoring and national management plans in the Nordic countries in mind.




There have been and are currently several on-going projects, studying various aspect of pollution with marine litter in the Nordic waters that demonstrate ubiquitous occurrence of marine litter, including microplastics, at beaches, in the water column, on the sea floor, and in biota in the sea today. Studies on amounts, composition and other relevant properties and impact of marine litter have been performed in most Nordic sea regions covering both Baltic Sea, Skagerrak–Kattegat, North Sea, North Atlantic as well as the Arctic (although often using different types of measurements), which have potential for being used as environmental indicators, see Table 5.1. Several of these indicators have also been proposed as indicators for national monitoring programmes in the coming years.


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