Why it's important
Marine litter is a major ecological threat to marine ecosystems. It can trap and kill marine life, smother its habitat, act as a hazard to navigation, and ultimately lead to loss of biodiversity. Because of plastic decomposition into the microplastic, tiny toxic particles can also be ingested by aquatic life causing the toxic particles move up the food chain, and finally threaten the health of humans.
Therefore, cleaning the seas and preventing further pollution of the oceans is extremely important for our planet, our health, and even our economy. To enable this, it is essential to know where marine litter is located.
However, currently location of marine litter is mainly found via local surveys and on-ground/sea observations. This approach is expensive, and time-consuming, not scalable, and leads to relatively sparse data resulting in only rough estimations of overall amount of marine litter.