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SeaBedArea and marine litter

    Begoña Vila Taboada
    By Begoña Vila Taboada Replies (3)

    Hello Keiran, hello everybody,

    My institution is involved in an European Project named CleanAtlantic (, whose main objective is to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Atlantic Area by improving capabilities to monitor, prevent and remove marine litter.

    As we are all aware of how important the INSPIRE Directive is, we would want that all the datasets produced during the project were INSPIRE compliant. However, we have noticed that there is no "litter" in the SeaBedCoverValue codelist, when EMODnet, the MSFD, OSPAR mention this kind of litter in all their guidelines:

    This topic is becoming quite relevant these days, so here is my question: could it be possible to improve the SR codelists in order to assimilate the marine litter categories?

    Best regards,


      • Keiran MILLARD

        By Keiran MILLARD

        Dear Begona,

        You are correct, according to the TG for Sea Regions:

        TG Requirement 3 SeaSurfaceAreas shall be classified according to the SeaSurfaceClassificationValue codelist.

        TG Requirement 4 SeaBedAreas shall be classified according to the SeaBedCoverValue codelist.

        SeaSurfaceClassificationValue codelist and SeaBedCoverValue codelist. are not explicitly specified in the guidelines, but if you look at AnnexD (Informative Annex) it was always envisaged that MarineLitter should be present in the codelists.  So, if codelists have been created that do not include Marine Litter then this is an omission.



        • Keiran MILLARD

          By Keiran MILLARD


 is largely comprised of natural coverage types, but could be extended to include marine litter - either as one class or a collection of litter classes.

 already has litter as coverage type.

          for both these (sea surface and sea bed) if there is a list of values you would like adding to the code list, then please share them on the forum and we can look to get the code lists updated.

          • Begoña Vila Taboada

            By Begoña Vila Taboada

            Hi again Keiran,

            The partners of the CleanAtlantic project are immersed ourselves in the discussion of what categories should be included in INSPIRE to deal with the issue of marine litter.

            For now, what is clear is that sea surface is less than 1% of total litter, when most is on the sea floor. However, only the SeaSurfaceClassificationValue contains this category.

            Another question that has coming up is the following: what about beach litter? How can we report hot spots where the amount of marine litter is relevant?

            Our objective is to make you a proposal of marine litter categories before the end of the year and that these could be incorporated into the INSPIRE code lists if you agree with them.

            Best regards,



          Marine & Atmosphere

          Marine & Atmosphere

          Oceanographic Geographical Features, Sea Regions, Atmospheric Conditions and Meteorological Geographical Features