Coimbra centre launches app to monitor marine waste, raise awareness

By TPN/Lusa, in World · 15-02-2019 11:03:00 · 1 Comments

A platform in the form of a mobile app to raise awareness of the need to tackle marine waste and adopt urgent measures to combat this "serious environmental problem" was launched on Thursday at the University of Coimbra.

"Educating the population about combatting marine waste, contributing to the preservation of the oceans, and alerting the competent authorities to the urgency of adopting measures to mitigate this serious global environmental problem" are the main objectives of the 'Lixomarinho’ app launched on Thursday, the university’s Faculty of Science and Technology (FCTUC) said in a note sent to Lusa News Agency.

This ‘citizen science project’, as the statement calls it, was undertaken by researchers at the faculty’s Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), in partnership with the Portuguese Marine Waste Association.

The platform, which also has pages on the Facebook and Instagram social networks, allows the "simple counting and mapping of marine debris on beaches on the Portuguese coast, namely during clean-ups of the sand". The aim is to function as national observatory of such waste, the faculty states.

There are many beach-cleaning initiatives in Portugal, but "it is necessary to compile in a simple and organised manner all the data that is being produced, so that other social actors and policymakers can be informed of pollution levels, with the objective of … reducing emissions of marine waste to the environment," the statement quotes Filipa Bessa, a MARE researcher who is the platform’s coordinator, as saying.

Anyone can participate, "either in real time on the beach or, later, through registration on the platform’ site, where it is possible to upload their counts of the marine waste collected", states Bessa, clarifying that there are two types of counts – one simple and one of scientific character.

The simple one, consisting of 20 items – representing the items and residue that is most recorded on beaches of Portugal – will indicate the trends in the types of garbage over time. The scientific count, which is for specialised researchers and technicians, includes a larger list of types of waste and "may be useful to entities responsible for the national and international monitoring of this type of pollution."

The data on the resulting "enlarged platform … will be available to all registered users free of charge (citizens, non-governmental organizations, companies, state, national, regional and international organizations) who want to collaborate, contributing to the reduction and mitigation of marine waste," the statement quotes Bessa as concluding.


Comments:

Please what is the name of App or how can i find it to connect?

By aasta from Lisbon on 15-02-2019 11:40
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.