In the context of the DQEM, which constitutes the benchmark for the management of the marine environment in the maritime spaces of the countries of the European Union, member states must develop and implement the Marine Strategies to be applied to their national waters considering 11 environmental descriptors, among which the marine litter (Descriptor 10).
In this regard, Portugal, in the assessment of the initial state of the waters of the continent subdivision, carried out in 2012, defined, for the 2020 time horizon, four environmental goals with the objective of characterizing the impacts of marine litter on marine ecosystems, but also assessing the its evolution over time.
In order to meet these goals, three projects were specifically registered in the Monitoring Program and the Measures Program (articles 11 and 13 of the DQEM), namely:
- “Limar - determining bioindicators for marine litter” - intends to select the most appropriate indicators for monitoring marine litter and thus to support the establishment of future monitoring programs that follow the evolution of this descriptor of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
- “Delixomar - Properties and spatial distribution of marine litter and impacts on marine life” - this project aims to determine the properties and amount of marine litter in selected areas of the Portuguese Sea, as well as to estimate the impact of this waste on marine life.
- "BDLixLit - Develop a database on marine litter on the coast" - which aims to systematize and treat information related to marine litter and established in the Delixomar monitoring project.