A new global project to prevent and reduce marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries has been launched by the IMO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).
The GloLitter Partnerships Project aims to help shipping and fisheries move to a low-plastics future and assist developing countries to identify ways to prevent and reduce marine litter.
it will consider the adequacy of port reception facilities and encourage fishing gear to be marked so it can be traced back to its owner if discarded.
It will also develop guidance documents, training material and tool-kits to help enforce existing regulations, including IMO's International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex V, which has prohibited the discharge of plastics, including discarded fishing gear, into the sea from ships since 1988.
"Plastic litter in the oceans is harming fish, marine mammals and seabirds, and threatening the entire marine ecosystem,” says Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the IMO.
“Our ambition is to move the maritime transport and fisheries sectors towards a future with no plastic waste entering the sea, and to share our successes with other sectors."
Ten countries, from five high priority regions (Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific) will be selected to spearhead the project.
At country level, GloLitter will expand government and port management capacities and instigate legal, policy and institutional reforms.
Initial funding of NOK 40m (around US$4.5m) for the three-year project is being provided by the government of Norway.