Marine litter monitoring cruise

Polar bear observed by the island Vize

Marine litter monitoring cruise

Polar bear observed by the island Vize

18 March 2022 news

Akvaplan-niva is leading the MALINOR project, aiming to map areas of marine litter and describe its characteristics in the Norwegian, Barents, Kara seas and the High Arctic with a multi-disciplinary approach in collaboration between Norwegian and Russian institutions.

Last year senior scientist Maria Pogojeva from MALINOR partner Zubov State Oceanographic Institute (SOI) participated in a research cruise on the R/V "Akademik Ioffe". The expedition was organized by the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS (IO) and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) with the technical support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The scientific staff of the expedition was represented by 13 scientific institutes and universities, 19 young scientists and 32 students and postgraduates participated in the cruise. In total, seven teams worked on board the ship in the main scientific areas: hydrophysics, hydrochemistry, hydrobiology, plastic pollution, meteorology, wind waves and remote sensing. Maria Pogojeva was a head of plastic pollution unit and together with students carried out a marine litter research program. MALINOR project supported the work of marine litter monitoring team.

Floating marine litter observations by students.

Students who worked in all these teams went through a full cycle of scientific research: setting a task - collecting and analyzing data on a sea expedition - obtaining scientific results. After the cruise the results were presented at the International Scientific Conference “Marine Research and Education 2021 “MARESEDU 2021” in Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS in Moscow. Such an approach helps to introduce new specialists into existing scientific groups for further joint work, and the involvement of young scientists as leaders in the program to increase their own professional skills and enrich scientific laboratories with new students and graduate students.

Students recording observed marine litter

The cruise was carried along the White, Barents, Kara, Norwegian, North and Baltic seas. All the route floating marine macro litter was monitored according to the MSFD methodology using the Floating Litter Monitoring (FLM) mobile application installed on tablets. Observations were carried out from the bow deck of the vessel throughout the entire expedition during daylight hours with the active involvement of interested students.

Floating macro litter observed transects in White, Kara and Barents seas.

Iceberg in St. Anna trough

Link to published paper:

MALINOR - Mapping marine litter in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic Seas is a bilateral research project funded by the NORRUSS programme of the Research Council of Norway.

The project is led by Norwegian research institute Akvaplan-niva and the other Norwegian partners are SALT, Maritime Robotics, UNIS, NILU, GRID-Arendal, the Meteorological Institute, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway and TerraNor. The Russian partners are MMBI RAS, SOI, the Association Maritime Heritage and the WWF Barents Sea Office.

Senior Scientist / Manager Digital Solutions