Today the Western Indian Ocean Science Association (WIOMSA) and Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) introduce the African Marine Litter Monitoring Manual: a guide to monitoring litter from source to sea. This manual is the result of a joint effort by WIOMSA, which initiated the Western Indian Ocean Litter Monitoring Programme, and the African Marine Waste Network (AMWN), a programme of SST.
Sustainable Seas Trust coordinated the development of the manual, working with Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Kenya; CETAMADA (association for the protection of marine mammals and their habitats), Madagascar; University of Mauritius, Mauritius; Universidade Lúrio & Fisheries Research Institute (IIP), Mozambique; The Ocean Project Seychelles, Seychelles; and Nipe Fagio, Tanzania. The manual also benefited from the contributions of Prof Peter Ryan from the University of Cape Town.
The African Marine Litter Monitoring Manual is written for any interested party, regardless of resources or level of scientific training. It addresses key issues of plastic and other waste accumulating in cities and towns, moving down the catchments into waterways and then polluting rivers, estuaries, beaches and the seas. Measuring is the first step in knowing the extent of problems, to developing strategies to better manage the issues and to evaluate the success of remedial interventions.
This manual was developed by teams in the Western Indian Ocean countries. The methods given in the manual are continually being improved as experience and new knowledge guide its evolution. Given the more general needs of Africa with respect to management of plastic litter and other waste, this manual is already a valuable guide to other coastal nations of Africa.