Marine Litter data collection and monitoring on Scottish Islands

£14,270 awarded

Over the last 10 years, since it was established, the Scottish Islands Federation has collated best practice & shared knowledge on a number of issues common to many of the inhabitants living on its 93 populated member Scottish islands.  The location of many of these islands, along with their topography, means that they all receive an unprecedented volume of marine litter, much of which is discarded fishing or aquaculture gear which poses significant threats to people & wildlife as well as challenges around disposal.  Whilst there are a number of volunteer-led beach cleans, there is no standardised, shared methodology on data recording (some weigh the litter collected, others count individual items, others count bags collected, etc).  Consequently, it has been relatively easy to ignore the data.  This project will develop an island-specific, scientifically validated methodology which would be achievable by citizen scientists to empower the Scottish Islands Federation to argue for additional support, including financial support, to deal with the marine litter.  The Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) will provide the scientific input & support & the results will feed into the Scottish Marine Litter Working Group.  This grant is towards the costs of developing, testing & then sharing the methodology.