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Tackling Marine Litter in the Atlantic Area








Sept. 2017-August 2020 (3 years)


including €2,437K ERDF (European Regional Development Fund)

Co-funding: partners and 

Interreg Atlantic (via ERDF)


CETMAR (Spain)

Arditi (Portugal)

Cedre (France)

Cefas (United Kingdom)

CRPM (France)

DGRM (Portugal)

DROTA (Portugal)

IEO (Spain)

Ifremer (France)


IST (Portugal)

Marine Institute (Ireland)

USC (Spain)

The CleanAtlantic project, funded by the European Interreg Atlantic Area programme and involving 13 partners from Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom, aims to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Atlantic Area by improving capabilities to monitor, prevent and remove (macro) marine litter. The project will also contribute to raise awareness and change attitudes among stakeholders and to improve marine litter managing systems.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • To draw a picture of current situation, existing knowledge, data and initiatives in the Atlantic regions and definition of gaps.
  • To review current systems to monitor and record marine litter, and to deliver protocols, tools and indicators to fill monitoring needs. But also to assess the impact on the marine environment of two types of waste: cigarette butts and cotton buds, as well as to contribute to action n° 48 of the Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter under the OSPAR Convention.
  • To develop modelling tools to predict the origin, circulation, and fate of marine litter, and elaboration of regional maps of hotspots of accumulation using models, remote sensing technologies, and aerial, surface and underwater unmanned systems.To address prevention by developing best practices to reduce inputs from fishing and port sectors.
  • To tackle removal of marine litter by implementing initiatives of fishing for litter, to reduce the presence of “abandoned lost and otherwise discarded fishing gears” on the sea-bed, and to develop best practices for routine beach litter clean-up by local authorities.
  • To deliver training and awareness activities addressed to various audiences and to transfer project outputs to competent authorities and key stakeholders to improve management and facilitate MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) implementation.

Cedre is particularly involved in identifying innovative initiatives as well as in research into the behaviour and impact of cotton buds and cigarette butts in the marine environment.



Project website:



More information

2021 : CleanAtlantic final conference

2020 : This 6-minute video (subtitles in French and Portuguese) uses animation to present the marine litter issue and real images to explain how in CleanAtlantic we are working to address this.

Cedre. 2019. CleanAtlantic European project meeting. Cedre information bulletin, n° 39, p. 15

CleanAtlantic poster

Newsletter n° 5

Newsletter n° 4

Newsletter n° 3

Newsletter n° 2

Newsletter n° 1

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