The final meeting of JPI Oceans Joint Action on “Ecological Aspects of Microplastics” was held in Galway on 14 and 15 September, 2023. The meeting, hosted by the Marine Institute, had research teams from the six funded JPI Oceans projects (ANDROMEDA, HOTMIC, FACTS, MicroplastiX, i-plastic and RESPONSE projects) travelling to Galway to present final results.
The two-day event was a success with European researchers explaining diverse aspects of microplastics, fibres and tyre particles, including scientific publications, education materials, policy briefings for stakeholders, monitoring tools.
The meeting also had members of DG Research & Innovation, the European Commission and the Joint Research Centre attending, as well as Ocean Literacy session with Pierre Strosser (EU4Ocean), Ana Vitória de Magalhães (IOC-UNESCO) and Russell Arnnott (Incredible Oceans).
Dr Niall McDonough, Chair of JPI Oceans and Director of Policy, Innovation & Research Services at the Marine Institute, said that “This meeting was a great success. The researchers presented the results of almost a decade of work on the sources, spread and impacts of microplastic pollution in the marine environment. This issue has only come to the fore in the past fifteen years and we are playing catch-up in terms of the science and the measures we can take to address the problem. The meeting also demonstrated the key role that JPI Oceans plays in bringing the best international experts together to conduct cutting edge research that has a direct benefit to society. I congratulate the research teams on their outstanding work. But they also gave us a clear message that there is a lot more to do.”
The MFRC had Dr João Frias, Dr Róisin Nash, Dr Fiona Kavanagh and Dr Haleigh Joyce attending this event, as part of the MicroplastiX project and of the microplastics research team.
Irish partners in these projects are supported by the Marine Institute and the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government funded by the Irish Government under the framework of JPI Oceans.