Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

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  • 1.
    Kinell, Gerda
    et al.
    Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy.
    Söderqvist, Tore
    Enveco Environmental Economics Consultancy.
    Moreno-Arancibia, Patricia
    Perfomers of environmental monitoring, Companies, DHI Sweden AB.
    Liungman, Olof
    Perfomers of environmental monitoring, Companies, DHI Sweden AB.
    Ahrensberg, Nick
    Perfomers of environmental monitoring, Companies, DHI Sweden AB.
    Marine litter in Sweden: A study for the Economic and Social Analysis of the Initial Assessment of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The initial assessment (IA) of the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) includes an economic and social analysis (ESA). This analysis is about two areas: (1) the use of marine waters and (2) the cost of degradation of the marine environment. Marine litter is one descriptor relevant for assessing good environmental status (GES) within the MSFD. Based on the ecosystem approach this report provides information on marine litter in Sweden involving status of marine litter (amounts, composition, sources etc.), how marine litter affects the provision of ecosystem services and costs and benefits connected to marine litter. This report is based on a literature review and a survey carried out in October 2011 to Swedish organizations causing marine litter or affected by marine litter. From the literature review and the survey it was evident that there is a general lack of data on the status of marine litter in Sweden as well as a lack of socioeconomic data describing effects of marine litter. The literature review and the survey also show that marine litter is an urgent environmental problem that causes negative effects on the provision of ecosystem services and causes costs to affected organizations and to society as a whole. The lack of data on marine litter might be explained by the fact that there is no uniform way in which marine litter is monitored and measured in Sweden. The data found of amounts of marine litter in Sweden only covered the coast of the North Sea and no data were found for the coast of the Baltic Sea. Data on composition of litter showed that the litter commonly consists of plastic, packages, oil cans and fishing equipment etc. The most important sources of marine litter are both based on land and at sea and involve the fishing industry, shipping sector, tourism sector and other recreational activities.Several ecosystem services are judged to be affected by marine litter including supporting, regulating, provisioning and cultural ecosystem services. There are however several policy instruments in place for handling marine litter. The main sources of marine litter are also covered by the current legislation. Marine litter and effects of marine littering has however been apparent in the literature review and the survey in this report. This indicates that the current policy instruments might be inefficient or need to be complemented. The development of marine litter is uncertain and is likely to depend of the drivers of marine litter. Potential drivers of marine litter are closely related to the sources of marine litter and probably involve changes in consumption levels (affecting the use of packages), coastal and marine recreation and tourism, commercial fishing and shipping.   Data on cost of degradation due to marine litter are scarce and the data collected only covered the coast of the North Sea. Cost data indicate that cleaning the beaches from marine litter in the province of Bohuslän in the northern part of the Swedish west coast costs about 5-10 MSEK yearly based on data from the survey and over 10 MSEK based on data from the literature review. Data on benefits of reduced marine litter are even more scarce. The benefits of reduced marine litter involve increased aesthetic values, increased possibilities for coastal and marine recreational and tourism.

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