Tunisia: COMMON project conducts scientific expedition to monitor marine litter
Observe and monitor the sea, analyse its state of health, conduct scientific research to stem the marine litter, and raise public awareness on waste at sea level. On board the Amilcar-Mahdia boat, the scientific staff of INSTM (Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer) of Tunis, partner of COMMON project, organized a 3-day scientific expedition from 5th to 7th August 2020.
The objective of the expedition is the observation of marine litter in Monastir, one of the 5 pilot areas of the project, using the ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), a submarine for the ocean study and also using other techniques for the study of microplastics on the surface.
During the pre-cruise preparation campaign for marine waste observation, the scientific team of INSTM used a Manta net for sampling in surface of microplastics (small particles of size ranging from 1 mm to 5 mm) and also a CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) probe to measure the conductivity, temperature and depth of the water in the area of Monastir and Kuriat study.
Plastics pollution is considered a real invisible major scourge in the Mediterranean and pose a great threat to water quality, sea users, biodiversity and human beings.
This is why COMMON project, funded by ENI CBC MED, will apply the principles of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) to the challenge of marine waste, by improving knowledge of the phenomenon, by improving the environmental performance of the 5 Pilot coastal areas in Tunisia, Italy, and Lebanon and by engaging local stakeholders in the fight against marine waste.
The activity was possible thanks to the INSTM Director Mr. Hechmi Missaoui and Ms. Zohra Seek the Secretary General, to the scientific partners lead by Mr. Karim Ben Mustapha. The INSTM Monastir and Mahdia centers, CFPP Mahdia, Commander Nabil Amor and the crew of the Amilcar-Mahdia boat supported the expedition.