Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skip Navigation Linksdefault

Science Day

Science Day under the Scientific Groups of the London Convention and London Protocol 

Science Day 2018 - Plastics and microplastics in the marine environment including impacts on aquaculture activities

Following the LP/LC governing bodies 2016 statement to encourage action to combat marine litter and to address the increasing global recognition and concern of the issue of plastics and microplastics in the marine environment, this issue was the topic for Science Day 2018. It was held as a one-day symposium on 3 May 2018 at the Maritime Training and Education Center (CIMAR), Valparaíso, Chile, and presided by the First Vice-Chair of the Scientific Groups (Commander Enrique Vargas).

Themes for discussion included:

  • International, regional and national initiatives addressing marine litter and microplastics and how these relate to the work of the LC/LP;
  • Sources and pathways for plastics to end up in waste streams under the LC/LP (in particular dredged material and sewage sludge) and how can these be controlled;
  • Detecting plastics and microplastics in waste streams under the LC/LP;
  • Impacts of plastics on aquaculture activities and how these can be addressed; and
  • Best practices and experiences in aquaculture activities to manage and reduce marine litter and plastics into the marine environment.

The aim of the symposium was to improve our understanding of plastics and microplastics in the marine environment in relation to the waste streams under the LC/LP and to identify and propose further solutions and actions to address this problem through the LC/LP. The program included a range of speakers from academia, science and government, representing various regions of the world, sharing experiences and scientific knowledge in relation to the different sources and spatial distribution of marine litter, plastics and microplastics in the oceans and their impacts in the marine environment, marine life and resources including the food chain. Presentations also addressed efforts made by some countries to reduce plastic waste and prevent marine litter and microplastic pollution in the marine environment, including environmental policies implemented in relation to regulate the extended producer responsibility for plastics and introduction of bans or taxes for single-use plastic bags.

The presentations and presenter's biographies can be downloaded in the zip-file here:

Science Day 2018


Science Day 2017 -  Waste prevention audits

an integral part of the generic and specific waste assessment guidelines. Waste prevention audits can, and are, used to decrease the amount of waste or pollutants that enter the world’s oceans and so have a paramount importance for the implementation LC/LP.

A waste prevention audit is carried out in order to evaluate: (i) the types, amounts and relative hazard of wastes generated; (ii) waste sources and; (iii) the feasibility of waste reduction and prevention techniques.
Generally, in relation to dredged material, the goal of a waste prevention audit is to identify and control the contamination sources. Contamination of the marine environment can be a consequence of historical and present day inputs both of which can present a problem for the management of estuarine and marine sediments. The presence of plastics and microplastics has been highlighted as a particular concern. Priority should be given to the identification of sources, as well as the reduction and prevention of further contamination of sediments from both point and diffuse sources. A waste prevention strategy is often developed using information gained from a waste prevention audit, and such strategies can provide both short-term and long-term solutions for the identified problems. Successful implementation of waste prevention strategies often requires collaboration among stakeholders and competent authorities with responsibility for the control of contaminant sources.

The Science Day session on "Waste prevention audits" was held on Thursday, 30th March 2017, in IMO headquarters and presided by First and Second Vice-Chairman the Scientific Groups (Commander Enrique Vargas and Dr Andrew Birchenough). The Scientific Groups were offered the following presentations:

1. ‘’EPA's Trash Free Waters Program: a Strategic Approach to Reduce Trash in Aquatic Systems’’, by Betsy Valente, United States;
2. ‘’Cefas Marine Litter Activities’’, by Thomas Maes, Cefas/United Kingdom;
3. ‘’Sources of Micro plastics (Styrofoam buoy)’’, by Gi Hoon-Hong, Republic of Korea;
4. ‘’Sediment Management and Source Control, the Port of Rotterdam Case’’, by Tiedo Velinger, Port of Rotterdam/WODA;
5. ‘’The Application of Waste Prevention Audits in South Africa’’, by Ulric van Bloemestein and Nokuzola Sukwana, South Africa; and
6. ‘’Waste Prevention Audits for Wood Waste’’, by Suzanne Agius, Canada.

A discussion followed which highlighted the importance of waste prevention audit within the process of assessing wastes and reducing marine pollution. There was also concern raised over the issue of microplastics and how they could be addressed in future through the LC LP.

The presentations can be downloaded in  zip-files here:

 Science day 1 -2017

Science day 2 -2017


Science Day 2016 - Environmental management of deep seabed mining

There has been renewed interest in deep-seabed mining (DSM) over the last decade because of the growing demand for metals, the increasingly inaccessible and degraded land-based deposits and advances in technology.

Exploration for the three main types of mineral deposits in international waters is regulated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and through national legislation when a proposed mining project is located within the exclusive economic zone or legal continental shelf of a country. DSM has yet to take place in international waters, however exploration is taking place in national waters with deep-sea mining set to begin off the coast of Papua New Guinea in 2018 with the Solwara 1 project.

Much of the focus of DSM is in the South Pacific region and the Deep Sea Minerals Project, a collaboration between the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) is helping Pacific Island countries to improve the governance and management of their deep-sea minerals resources. Therefore, the topic of Science Day “Environmental management of deep seabed mining” was very relevant for the region and we heard from speakers with global, regional and national perspectives including:

  • Andy Birchenough (Chair) – Cefas, UK


  • Edward Kleverlaan - Office for London Convention/Protocol & Ocean Affairs

How LC/LP fits into deep-seabed mining and associated waste management

Regional Approach in the Pacific

  • Akuila Tawake - Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
  • Anthony Talouli - Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SREP)

Regional Approach to deep-seabed mining in the Pacific Islands and the Deep Sea Minerals Project

National Perspectives

  • Gabriel Poiya - Papua New Guinea

Deep-seabed mining in PnG national waters

  • Patecesio Manuceu - Tonga

Deep-seabed mining in Tongan national waters

  • J. Choi – Republic of Korea

Korean Deep-seabed mining programme

The presentations can be downloaded in one zip-file here: Fiji ppts DSM in
Science Day 2015- Marine geoengineering

The Science Day symposium is a regular event and an important agenda item for the joint meetings of Scientific Groups under London Convention and London Protocol. It provides a forum for scientists all over the world to share their points of views on the designated topic related to the remit of London Convention and London Protocol, including its general aim of marine environment protection. Contracting States and interested parties may use it as a resourceful tool to make informed decisions.
The topic of the 2015 Science Day was Marine Geoengineering. According to the 2013 amendment to the London Protocol, Marine geoengineering is defined as of a deliberate intervention in the marine environment to manipulate natural processes, including to counteract anthropogenic climate change and/or its impacts, and that has the potential to result in deleterious effects, especially where those effects may be widespread, long-lasting or severe.

The 2015 Science Day session on "Marine geoengineering" was held on Thursday, 23 April 2015, in IMO headquarters and presided by the First Vice-Chairman of the Scientific Groups, Ms. Linda Porebski (Canada). The symposium was offered the following presentations:

  1. "Brief summary of marine geoengineering techniques", by Dr. Chris Vivian, Cefas, United Kingdom
  2. "Ocean Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS): The concept and its implications as a geoengineering option", by Dr. Richard Lampitt, National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom
  3. "Ocean iron fertilization: overview and perspectives", by Dr. Christine Klaas, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
  4. "Ocean alkalinity modification", by Dr. Phil Renforth, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  5. "Enhanced mineral weathering as a marine geoengineering approach", by Mr. Francesc Montserrat, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, the Netherlands
  6. "Marine geoengineering on the Canadian horizon: a survey of the future", by Ms. Suzanne Agius, Environment Canada
  7. "Strategies for increasing ocean reflectance-marine albedo techniques", by Professor Julian Evans, University College London, United Kingdom
  8. "The physics, chemistry and biology of proposed marine geoengineering techniques", by Mr. Tim Kruger, Oxford University, United Kingdom
  9. "The price of carbon and the cost of macro and micronutrient fertilization of the ocean", by Professor Ian S. F. Jones, University of Sydney, Australia
  10. "Ocean fertilisation by buoyant flakes", by Mr. Bru Pearce, Envisionation, United Kingdom

The presentations were followed by two thorough panel discussions:

  •  Assessment, monitoring impacts and benefits – what are the biggest lessons learned thus far?; and
  •  What will be most important to success in the next decade or two on marine geoengineering?

The presentations can be downloaded in one zip-file