Conference: Ocean microplastics issue and bio-based plastics solution

27th June 2018 (Brussels, Belgium)

 

In the opinion of an expert panel brought together by AQUIMER, there is an urgent need to increase awareness of contamination in aquatic products at international, governmental, industry and consumer levels. We also need better evaluation methods for micro-plastics to protect fish and seafood food safety and determine the risks ingestion poses to human health.

This topic is important for EuroFIR AISBL, a beneficiary in SEAFOODTOMORROW (http://eurofir.eu/our-resources/current-projects/seafoodtomorrow, seafoodtomorrow.eu), which aims to validate and optimise innovative and sustainable solutions and improve the safety and dietary value of seafood in Europe, and Sevda Nur Urkan attended to learn more about the issues posed by micro- and nano-plastics in seafood.

Ocean microplastics issue and bio-based plastics solution was organised in the framework of “bring EUROPEAN MARITIME DAY to your country”, supported by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). It provided an opportunity for policymakers, civil society, scientific academia, and food industry representatives to discuss the wider issues of plastic contamination in the food chain as well as the role of potential alternatives, such as bio-based plastics, in tackling microplastics pollution.

AQUIMER organised an expert panel to highlight the impacts of interfering with ecosystems processes composed of experts with different perspectives on the issue of marine microplastics. Tarub Bahri (Fishery Resources Officer, FAO) presented the 2017 FAO report on microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture available here and underlined that, although seafood products are a source of microplastics in the human diet, for now at least intake seems to be negligible. However, impact of plastics on food safety and human health in the longer-term is unknown

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