News

BCSS releases Annual Marine Debris Report

One of the main players in marine science in East Africa, the Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies (BCSS), has published its 2023 Annual Marine Debris Report, following a year of monitoring the coastal ecosystems of Benguerra Island.

Guided by the Ocean Observatory’s Research Theme 4: Marine Debris Monitoring, during 42 collections a total of 125 hours were spent removing an astounding 1600 kilograms of marine debris.

The BCSS anticipates that the analysis of the data gathered will provide critical insights into the migration of plastic waste, which in turn should inspire the development of more informed strategies to combat plastic pollution in marine environments.

Developed in collaboration with Universal Plastic and the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP), the BCSS report focuses on four designated ecosystems, covering various hectares of sandy beach, mudflats, seagrass meadows and mangrove forest.

The main objective was to gather insight into how debris enters and accumulates in these different ecosystems – thereby linking the waste pollution predicament to socioeconomic and local community activities, as well as its environmental drivers.

The most prevalent material was found to be rubber (30.8%), followed by hard plastic (26.7%), and marine gear (11.3%).

By harnessing the power of AI and blockchain technology, tracing the origins of this marine debris is helping the BCSS contribute towards a comprehensive global database containing invaluable insights that will pave the way for targeted interventions and policy initiatives.

Over the last few years, SST has been keeping a close eye on the impressive science-based work done by the BCSS. Established in 2017, this non-profit field research station is the first permanent ocean observatory in the Indian Ocean and Mozambique. It also has strong connections with regional and national partners dedicated to the conservation and preservation of emblematic animal species in and around the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Looking to the future, we may very well see SST collaborate with the BCSS. Its work in marine conservation and particularly its focus on the impact of human activity on our precious oceans holds an immediate significance for SST. We believe that we can work together towards a future where our oceans thrive, teeming with life and free from the shackles of human-induced pollution.

 

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