Through a digital sea map we are presenting key challenges and possible solutions on the global problem of marine litter. The map is based on discussions during Lighthouse Lofoten Conference 2019.

In October 2019 the Norwegian Center for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment, Directorate of Fisheries and Clean Nordic Oceans arranged the Lighthouse Lofoten Conference in Lofoten, Arctic Norway.

Stakeholders, scientists and representatives from various organizations from all over the world participated at the conference.

As a product of the conference a digital sea map has been made based on the group discussions conducted during the conference. Each group were given a topic to discuss in relation to marine litter. They were asked the following questions:

  • What are the challenges related to marine litter?
  • In what way may cooperation be challenging when it comes to tackling marine litter?
  • How can we solve these challenges through cooperation across borders and through cooperation between different stakeholders?

Explore the interactive map here:


The idea behind the sea map

The answers were filled in at the different sector lights outlined on a sea map. At sea the red and green light from a lighthouse warns us of dangerous waters while the white light guides us the safe way forward. In our sea map red and green sector symbolizes challenges, the white sector symbolizes solutions.

The idea behind this sea map is to have something concrete to keep in mind and to provide guidance in further work against marine litter. Through this exercise the conference gathered information about the main challenges of marine litter and possible solutions based on the expert knowledge of the participants.

The importance of sharing knowledge

Through presentations, debates and discussions it became clear that there is not just one approach to tackling marine litter. Solutions must be adapted to different geographical, cultural and political conditions.

The conference created new networks, and there is a broad agreement on the importance of sharing knowledge and finding ways to work together across borders with prevention and cleanup of marine litter.

About Lighthouse Lofoten:

17-18 October 2019 The Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment arranged the Lighthouse Lofoten Conference in Lofoten, Arctic Norway, together with The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries and Clean Nordic Oceans.

The goal of the conference was to connect people working against marine litter around the world, and to share knowledge, ideas and experiences.

The conference lasted for two days and sought to identify solutions to handle the global problem of marine litter.

Three main topics were:

  • The Global Lighthouse: Joining forces and resources in coastal cleanups
  • Lost at Sea: Prevention, retrieval and waste reception of marine litter from marine sources
  • From Coast to Coast: Global partnership and cooperation – tasks and ambitions