Towards the Management of Marine Litter and Microplastics in the Southeast Asian Region
Management of aquatic pollution that include marine litter, e.g. marine debris, microplastics, and abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, is one of the most challenging issues that need to be addressed through global cooperative efforts. In the Southeast Asian region, the severity of the issue on marine litter requires strong collaboration for the development of preventive approaches to mitigate their impediments to sustainable economic growth. Innovation, research, and development of technologies to reduce marine litter are necessary for the well-being and sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources. Recently, SEAFDEC has made some efforts to assess the condition of marine litter in the Southeast Asian region through several projects supported by the Japanese Trust Fund. This article highlights the initiatives as well as the ongoing and planned activities of SEAFDEC in collaboration with the ASEAN Member States (AMSs) and academic institutions to understand the impacts of marine debris and microplastics on the environment.