In support of the IOTC ecosystem report card: indicators for marine debris
This document addresses the “marine debris” ecosystem component to support the development of an indicatorbased ecosystem report card at the IOTC. The goal of the document is to point out the importance of identifying the marine debris produced by the fishing activities of the major IOTC fisheries and its potential impact on the marine ecosystem in the Indian Ocean. With this objective the following points have been developed: (1) We describe the “marine debris” ecosystem component, highlight its importance and the need of monitoring it. We also make a proposal of a conceptual and an operational objective to measure progress towards the management of this component. (2) We propose candidate indicators, which are shared by all fishing gears, that could be measured to monitor the extend of marine debris both on the open ocean and coastal ecosystems produced by IOTC fisheries.(3) We chose to initiate our work by identifying the potential sources of the different fishery activities to marine debris and examine data availability and sources to support indicators development, and (4) Finally, a draft work plan to guide the future work is defined. If interested, contact the corresponding authors to find out how you can contribute to this initiative.