Norwegian-Russian cooperation on plastic waste in the Barents Sea

Norwegian-Russian cooperation on plastic waste in the Barents Sea

September 26, 2017
Head of Communication

Representatives from the fisheries industry, research institutes and management institutions in Norway and Russia are meeting this week in a joint effort to combat marine plastic pollution in the Barents Sea. Norut and Kola Science Center are organising the seminar in Murmansk followed by a beach clean-up in Teriberka.

As sea currents don’t recognise borders, neighbouring countries Russia and Norway share challenges with marine plastic waste in the Barents Sea.

Fishermen, research scientists and representatives of management institutions and NGOs from both countries are meeting to share knowledge about the status of marine waste in the Arctic and associated research. The participants at the seminar will also discuss how the government departments and industry are dealing with the problems, and how waste management in the region can be improved.

The seminar in Murmansk takes place on 28 September. The 50 participants will focus on the following topics:

  • Monitoring and biological research
  • Clean-ups and citizen involvement
  • Regulation and management institutions
  • Societal consequences, industry concerns and actions

There has been increased focus on marine plastic pollution in recent years, and this unique cooperation in the north is generating considerable interest, including in Russia. Four TV networks will cover the seminar in Murmansk on Thursday.

The seminar, which has received financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supplements other planned activities in the large-scale Norut-led research project MARine Plastic pollution in the Arctic: origin, status, costs and incentives for Prevention (MARP). The Foreign Affairs ministries and environmental agencies from both countries are involved in the seminar, which is an initiative of the research group from Norut.

After the seminar in Murmansk, the research scientists from Norut and a smaller group from Russia will travel to Teriberka, which is a two-hour drive north of the city. They will spend two days there cleaning up beaches and cooperating with local authorities about the most efficient ways of recording the waste.

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