#INDICITchallenge and beach activities in Tunisia for World Oceans Day

The World Oceans Day and the Marine Turtle World day were celebrated on June 30th in Tunisia in the occasion of INDICIT challenge. The event was organized by INDICIT partner INSTM with the collaboration of the SPA/RAC, APAL (Protection and management of the Littoral agency), NGB (NGO) and the Sfax Sciences Faculty, in the Kuriat islands, the main marine turtle nesting site in Tunisia. More than 50 persons participated, including 25 children. An extensive program of awareness activities was planned, both on board and on the beach: - Presentation of the problem of marine debris in the ocean and their impact on marine fauna - Presentation of projects dealing with the issue in the Mediterranean: INDICIT and Marinelitter - Reading of the INDICIT Turtle story - Projection of a film on the issue - Drawing and coloring session - Release of a turtle rehabilitated in the rescue centre of Monastir - Collection of plastic waste on the beach - Opening of a nest to put a recording thermometer and explanation of the nesting phenomenon    

A training session in Tunisia

As part of a national training session on Marine turtles monitoring organized by the Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas (ONU-MAP- SPA/RAC) within the framework of the “conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean project” from 15th  to 18th August 2017 in Monastir, Tunisia, the laboratory of Marine Biodiversity of INSTM moderated the program of the 17th August with: - A presentation of the INDICIT project and the problem of the plastic ingestion by the marine fauna, - A training session on the techniques of necropsy and the collect of ingested debris in a stranded dead sea turtle at the INSTM sea turtle rescue center in Monastir. This training is in Line with the activities planned by the Marine Litter Med project. Some thirty people were able to benefit from this training.   [caption id="attachment_504" align="aligncenter" width="553"] Presentation of INDICIT[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_505" align="aligncenter" width="563"] Training session to necropsy, Monastir, Tunisia[/caption]

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An extensive beach cleaning in Turkey for INDICIT challenge

On Sunday June 17, INDICIT partner DEKAMER organized a big beach cleaning event in Turkey, as part of the INDICIT challenge. Around 50 volunteers participated, along with DEKAMER staff.          The volunteers then created a turtle on the beach with all the litter collected, contributing to raise awareness about marine litter and plastic pollution among bystanders. The event was broadcasted live on Facebook by DEKAMER, mentioning INDICIT and the objectives of our project!         

Building synergies at the 6th MEDTURTLE Conference

On October 17th, 2018, INDICIT team co-animated with the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation (Greece) and Barcelona convention Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (Tunisia) one of the 6 workshops of the 6th MedTurtle conference. 95 participants attended the workshop, 15 Mediterranean countries and 5 non-Mediterranean countries were represented. This conference, supported in particular by United Nations Mediterranean Action Plan and Bern convention, provided a good opportunity to meet all the sea turtle specialists of the Mediterranean region at a time.  The topic being this year “building synergies”, it was particularly suited for discussing one of the goals of INDICIT project: stimulating networking and disseminating the tools designed by the consortium for monitoring ingestion and entanglement of sea turtles in marine debris. The rich agenda allowed to present the context of the marine debris monitoring needs, and the ongoing work on the topic around the basin, such as the Marine Litter Med Programme, MedSealitter and INDICIT projects and local initiatives (see attached agenda).  During the discussion, most of the attendees expressed a high interest in sharing their experience, in using a standard protocol and building further collaborations. Six outcomes will be soon shared with the participants: i) a map and list of stakeholders involved or to be involved in monitoring, ii) the pdf presentations; iii) the existing protocols and links to download them, iv) a list of stakeholders using/wishing to use standard protocols, v) recommendations for further development including a list of needs for reinforcing capacities. Workshop resources:   Several posters were also presented during the conference :   Oral presentation :    

CorMon Marine Litter

Last week (March 30, 2021) was held by videoconference the Meeting of the Ecosystem Approach Correspondence Group on Marine Litter Monitoring (CorMon Marine Litter). The aim of this meeting was :
  1. To review the regional operational strategy for monitoring IMAP Candidate Indicator 24 prepared in collaboration with SPA/RAC;
  2. To address the interrelation of pressures impacts of marine litter and the status of marine ecosystem components as provided for from the methodology that has been developed in the framework of IMAP and the expert judgment received by several Contracting Parties after the CORMON Marine Litter Meeting in April 2019 (Podgorica, Montenegro); and
  3. To analyse the potential complementarities and synergies between IMAP and the European Commission new GES Decision (2017/848/EU) for marine litter.
Claude Miaud and Gaëlle Darmon (CEFE-EPHE PSL) participated in this meeting and presented INDICIT II project and more specifically the results of Activity 2: GES scenarios of Indicator “Litter ingested by sea turtles”, based on the +1000 of standard data collected during INDICIT and INDICIT II projects.    

Debris and sea turtles: the sad odyssey of filters lost by an Italian wastewater treatment plant.

It has been known for a long time that marine turtles are impacted by marine litter, by ingestion or entanglement. These species are even recognized as indicators of pollution. Today, we deplore a concrete example of impact, and this time we know the source. At the sea turtle treatment center of Grau du Roi (CESTMed), a loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta accidentally caught by a trawl, expelled in its faeces one of the « filter media » lost south of Naples last February. 2 monthes earlier, at necropsy, in the digestive tract of another turtle found dead at the Camargue regional natural Park, a filter was found by the French Mediterranean Sea Turtle Network (SHF-RTMMF). The 2 turtles were found in the same area, around the same time. The 45 mm diameter filters, manufactured by Veolia, first mass landed on the Tyrrhenian coast, from Salerno to Liguria and Sardinia: millions of plastic discs used in wastewater treatment plants, lost and dispersed after a structural failure of a tank in the Gulf of Salerno. They then drifted towards Corsica and the Gulf of Lion.     This odyssey, followed by the LIFE CLEANSEA project, IFREMER , SURFRIDER etc, made it possible to visualize and follow the destiny of plastics towards the west of the Mediterranean Sea, which fits the dispersal path predicted by a model realized by the LaMMA. Unfortunately, it is likely that more cases will be reported in next weeks or months, whether it be on turtles or other organisms that have confused these filters with food. A survey has been intiated by MNHN GTMF through the Medturtle discussion list. More information available on GTMF website.

Discover “Free from Debris”, INDICIT’s turtle story!

A turtle has been found entangled in the sea! It is brought to a rescue center... What will happen? In this playful story created by INDICIT project, illustrated with real photographs, kids and adults are able to learn how marine debris endangers marine fauna, how sea turtles are rescued and brought back to health, and how marine litter ingested by sea turtles can be used as bio-indicators of the oceans' status! And if you care about the protection of our oceans, participate in June to INDICIT challenge!  

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Discover INDICIT documentary teaser!

As part of the communication and dissemination of the project, a film documenting its work is being produced by INDICIT partner ISPRA . The film crew is currently shooting in different countries, in order to illustrate the various aspects of INDICIT work. A first spot was released as a teaser with images from Gran Canaria, showing more particularly the threats entanglement in marine litter represent for sea turtles, and the rescue efforts.   [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhYmJBZd-Mk&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Discover INDICIT documentary!

INDICIT is releasing today its documentary! Realized by INDICIT partner ISPRA, it shows the day by day activities carried out on the field by the INDICIT teams from 5 European countries (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece) and 2 non-European Mediterranean countries (Turkey, Tunisia). In this documentary, you will see how INDICIT collected data on sea turtles that ingested debris at sea and the work performed in rescue centers and laboratories for building a common method, which will be useful for continuing effective actions to protect turtles and other marine animals from the negative impacts of plastic in our seas.   [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7sL3CIinTQ[/embed]   The documentary is also available on INDICIT website in the "Awareness" section.

Discover INDICIT partners in video!

On the occasion of a project meeting, each INDICIT partner took some time for an interview in order to introduce themselves and present their work within the INDICIT project. Discover the videos here:

Entangled seabird in Turkey released by INDICIT II partners

This gull was found entangled in fishing line and hooks by members of INDICIT II Partners DEKAMAR team during beach patrols in Fethiye, Turkey. Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks also helped to release the gull    

EU Green Week

On the June 4th 2021, the EU Green Week online workshop was held : "MEDITERRANEAN POLLUTION, BIODIVERSITY and HEALTH" by Biodiversity Protection Community - Interreg Med. This workshop showed evidence on marine pollution impacts on biodiversity and health. It was an opportunity to learn about current initiatives and tools to tackle marine pollution impacts, and how an ecosystem-based approach to biodiversity protection and management in the Mediterranean can ensure a better future for humans and the ecosystems in the region. INDICIT II results were presented by Olfa CHAIEB from INSTM that talked about "Impact of Marine Litter on sea turtles "  

February 6-7, 2018: INDICIT third project meeting in Montpellier

Halfway through the project, INDICIT partners met for the third time on February 6-7 2018. The meeting was organized by CNRS in Montpellier, France. On the first day, each Activity leader presented an update of the past 6 months, and several workshops were organized in order to discuss the progress and the perspectives for the second year of the project.     On the second day, the partners had the chance to get advice and guidance from the External Advisory Board: European marine litter experts, representatives of different Minisitries in charge of the Environment in countries represented in the consortium, and of Regional Sea Conventions.  

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High quantities of plastics in sea turtles found dead in Corsica, France

Five sea turtles have been found stranding dead in the Corsica by the French Mediterranean stranding network (RTMMF). G. Darmon (CNRS) and F. Claro (MNHN) supported C. Cesarini (RTMMF) to necropsy and analyse the debris ingested by the sea turtles. Incredibly high quantities of debris were found in all 5 sea turtles, mostly white, transparent and black coloured plastics (Fig. 1 and 2).  The plastics were classified and weighted according to the INDICIT standard protocol (Fig 3). Turtles ingested daily use plastics such as plastic bags, packaging, cup, bottle cork or lollipops.   [caption id="attachment_1045" align="aligncenter" width="668"] Fig 1. Plastics found in a turtle’s stomach (left) and intestines (right). Photo G. Darmon[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1046" align="aligncenter" width="667"] Fig. 2. Sheets of plastics, packaging, flask (salad dressing?), cup and bottle cork are part of the items found in a turtle’s digestive tract. Photo G. Darmon[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1047" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Fig. 3. Classification of the debris found in one of the 5 turtles’ digestive tract according to the INDICIT standard protocol.[/caption]

INDICIT at MICRO conference

The 3d MICRO conference which takes place every two years about  microdebris, was attended this year by 600 participants. This collaborative process, coordinated by the scientific community  to share between colleagues and connect with society, was an opportunity for INDICIT project to present some results of the consortium about ingestion by turtles. One member of the consortium, Ana Liria Loza, University of Gran Canaria, was member of the MICRO scientific and organization committee, and participated the panel and public discussion which took place after the 25’ talk by invitee Maria Cristina Fossi (Siena University) on the Wednesday Nov. 21st « The Megafauna and microplastics tale: Evidence and future development, ». Ana cited INDICIT as an example of project supporting the monitoring process engaged by Europe in parallel of the measures which aim to maintain or restore the Good Environmental Status of european seas. On the following day, she presented a communication « New methodologies to collect and analyse micro-debris ingested by loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). On November 23rd Patricia Ostiategui-Francia, also representing UGC and INDICIT presented another aspect of this work : « Microplastic presence in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded in Gran Canaria Island». This event was also an opportunity for Ana and Patricia to exchange with a colleague Cinzia Centelleghe who presented the Characterization of microplastics from sea turtles, (Caretta caretta), stranded along the northern adriatic sea, in the perspective of future data sharing. Posters about INDICIT were also disseminated during the conference:  

INDICIT at the European Researchers’ Night in the Azores

  On 29 September 2017, INDICIT Portuguese partner FRCT (The Regional Fund for Science and Technology) disseminated informations about the project within the framework of the European Researchers' Nightheld at Expolab - Centro de Ciência Viva, the Azores. The European Researchers' Night is an initiative funded by the European Commission, which takes place simultaneously in several institutions throughout Europe, with the main objective of celebrating science and bringing researchers closer to citizens in an informal, playful and educational way. The European Researchers' Night, which goes on its 12th edition, was held this year in 23 localities in Portugal, and in the Azores took place at EXPOLAB, also extending to NONAGON - Science and Technology Park of São Miguel island. The Regional Fund for Science and Technology was present at the event publicizing its activities, as well as presenting challenges to the youngest and public in general, in order to raise awareness of research activities and current European projects in the region. This initiative was open to the general public, and integrated various activities, such as laboratories, workshops, exhibitions, astronomical observations, lectures and challenges, the event was attended by the Azores Science Centers and various regional institutions. An information "flyer" about INDICIT, prepared by the FRCT for this occasion, was disseminated to the audience, and a funny INDICIT turtle photo spot was created for sensitize public about the impact of marine debris on marine life.  

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INDICIT Challenge at FIMAR 2018

On the 18th – 20th of May, INDICIT Project participated in the International Ocean Exhibition (FIMAR) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). FIMAR is one of the most important events in Gran Canaria, where there are more than 90 exhibitors and joined by nautical professionals and general public. On Saturday 19th, Dra. Ana Liria–Loza presented the INDICIT project to general public and explained how sea turtles could be used as indicators of marine debris. In addition, attenders saw several examples of turtles entangled in marine debris observed in Canary Islands.      On Sunday, took place the first action of the #INDICITchallenge in Canary Islands, in collaboration with the European projects MISTIC SEAS II and MARCET. Kids created an artwork using bottle caps and learnt how marine debris affect sea turtles and other biota.  

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INDICIT Challenge awareness activities in Greece

In collaboration with the HCMR’s Education Unit, and at the occasion of the INDICIT challenge, INDICIT organized three awareness activities on the 1st, the 5th and the 8th of June 2018, in Anavyssos, Greece. On June 1, 22 children from Anavyssos kindergarten visited HCMR and attended an educational program entitled "Free from Debris - the Turtle story", which is part of the INDICIT challenge. The program was organized and presented by R. Andriopoulou and E. Ermidi, both members of the Education Unit. The activity started with the presentation of the turtle story in Greek, followed by a short discussion regarding the threats of the sea turtle and ended with the creation of a sea turtle from recycled plastics, such as caps of plastic bottles. The kids also made their own sea turtle by plastic bath sponge and cardboard and they wrote on paper some slogans for the protection of sea turtle from debris. Very excited from the whole experience, they promised that they will work for the protection of the sea turtle. The same program was presented in a second group of 20 children from a kindergarten in Anavyssos on June 8, with the same success. INDICIT persons along with the Education group of HCMR were also invited to the premises of 1st Elementary school of Anavyssos on June 5, where 45 pupils of the first and the second grade attended the program. The kids, working in two teams, created two different sea turtles, one using various caps of plastic bottles and another one using different things that represented serious threats to the sea turtles like plastic bags, hooks, pieces of nets, plastic caps, etc. The program was much appreciated by the school teachers and the pupils.     

INDICIT Challenge in the Azores

The dissemination action INDICIT Challenge took place in the Azores at the Professional School of Horta on the Oceans Day (June 8, 2018), for 2 classes of 1st year students (ages 15-18, approximately 40 participants). This action occurred under the umbrella of DRAM (Regional Directorate of the Maritime Affairs) 9th edition of the annual awareness campaign Azores Entre Mares 2018 , with the collaboration of the science centre OMA (Azores Ocean Observatory). First, a presentation of the INDICIT project and its respective objectives was carried out by a FRCT/IMAR collaborator (João Lagoa), and afterwards an activity entitled "SOS Stranded Turtle" was carried out by the OMA collaborator (Maria Joana Cruz), during which the students learnt and collaborated in the procedure to follow when finding a stranded animal, and the whole process until its return to the sea.        During this action we were fortunate to have the presence and capture of images from ISPRA partners, who were in Faial collecting images for the development of the INDICIT project tutorial. At the end of this action a small souvenir was offered to the participants (an INDICIT project bag).     

INDICIT Dissemination meeting – SPAIN – 14th June 2021

On the 14th June 2021, the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge organised, in collaboration with Valencia and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Universities, the INDICIT dissemination meeting at the national level, targeted to all regional Governments and rescue centres. This event has aimed at disseminating INDICIT results and tools and will serve as the basis for the implementation of the official monitoring programme on Marine litter in biota at the national level as part of the Spanish Marine Strategies. Around 35 participants from all regions  participated and learned from INDICIT experience and outputs and have discussed on its effective implementation and coordination after the end of the project. Participants have agreed to create an ad-hoc working group that will meet after the summer break to analyse the needs in terms of human, material and financial resources and agree on the national protocol and data management. INDICIT dissemination meeting agenda -14June'21  

INDICIT dissemination meeting: building a common approach for the monitoring of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles

On December 4th, INDICIT organized an international dissemination meeting hosted by HCMR in Athens (Greece). The one-day-event contributed to the project objective of developing a common approach for monitoring the marine debris ingestion by sea turtles, by disseminating widely information about the set of standardized tools and protocols developed by INDICIT. In addition, it was the occasion to discuss future prospects of the monitoring of the marine debris with policy makers and networks (EU DG ENV and TGML, Ospar, Helcom and Barcelona conventions,  Portugal and France national representatives, Medasset).
In the morning, Claude Miaud (CNRS EPHE), Gaëlle Darmon (CNRS) and Ana Liria Loza (ULPGC) presented INDICIT current results and the standard protocol for marine debris ingestion by sea turtles. The videotutorial created by ISPRA in the frame of INDICIT was also showed to the participants. During the afternoon, two panel discussions gathering EU, RSCs and national authorities representatives, as well as NGOs discussed the integration of INDICIT results in national and international policies, and the challenges of the implementation of a common methodology.
The event was attended by stakeholders from 9 countries: 27 persons in Athens, while more than 20 persons were connected on the livestreaming, and able to comment and ask questions to the speakers. Most of the stakeholders expressed their wish to use the standardized tools and several actions were agreed with policy makers for integrating INDICIT results in the working agendas of EU and RSCs.


INDICIT dissemination meeting: join us on the livestreaming!

INDICIT dissemination meeting is taking place on December 4th from 9 a.m. (GMT +2). You can find here the final agenda of the meeting. You are welcome to join the discussion on the livestreaming:


INDICIT final meeting in Bruxelles

On January 17-18, INDICIT partners met for the final meeting of the project. The meeting was hosted in European Commission premises in Bruxelles (Belgium). On the first day took place a last internal workshop, allowing partners to finalize INDICIT results. On the second day, the final results of the project were presented to INDICIT Policy Officer and several other members from the European Commission working on Marine Debris. They discussed the perspectives of the project. A report of the communication and dissemination actions organized by all partners throughout the project was presented, and a documentary about the project realized by ISPRA was screened for the first time (it will be soon available on the website). The meeting concluded with a discussion on perspectives of indicit résults contribution towards a common monitoring approach in EU and RSCs areas.    

INDICIT II – 3rd Intermediate Meeting (online)

INDICIT II consortium just had its 3rd intermediate meeting. Due to Covid-19 situation, the INDICIT II partner PAU-DEKAMER was unable to hosted the meeting in Turkey as expected. Therefore Yakup Kaska (PAU-DEKAMER) organised the online meeting for the consortium. Results and practical organisation for next tasks were discussed among partners during the first day. The main progress of the project was presented to the External Advisory Board and the Project Officer, Mr Michail Papadoyannakis, who congratulated the efforts made. They also provided constructive advice for finalising the last deliverables and making the results useful for policy maker representatives.  

INDICIT II Challenge: Conclusion

The INDICIT II challenge has now finished. During the INDICIT II Challenge the partners asked the public to send through photos, videos and links about entanglement of marine wildlife in plastic pollution. Entanglement in plastic debris is harder to assess because animals are not often found. However, many observers have posted photos or videos on the internet, which is valuable information for understanding the types of litter in cause and the impacts on individuals’ health. We received total of 68 links and 8 uploaded pictures. This is valuable information for INDICIT II partners working on the issues of entanglement.   Some examples of photos sent include: Claire Jeuffroy: Guadeloupe   Thierry Peres: Réunion Island    

INDICIT II Exhibition in the Azores

Maria Vale from FCRT recently gave an interview on the opening of the Azores Itinerant exhibition, on the regional program “Açores Hoje” from the regional TV – RTP Açores (see from 12:55 minutes). https://www.rtp.pt/play/p1766/acores-hoje    


On October 9th, INDICIT II partner, Canary Islands University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), presented the project to stakeholders in La Gomera Island (Canary Islands) to encourage collaboration across the Archipelago. Read the full article here

INDICIT II Itinerant Exhibition Azores

INDICIT II Itinerant Exhibition Azores Date: 17/09/2021 (opening) Locations & Timings: Still in the phase of establishing the contacts, but it is planned that the exhibition goes to several islands in the Azores archipelago, being displayed on Science Centres of the following islands - São Miguel (EXPOLAB), Terceira (OAA) & Faial (OMA), and in the Environmental Interpretation Centres of Flores and Santa Maria Islands. The following display times are being scoped - EXPOLAB (São Miguel: Sep'21-Mar'22 / 6 months), OAA (Terceira: Apr-Jun'22 / 3 months), OMA (Faial: Jul-Sep'22 / 3 months), Parque Natural Flores (Oct-Dec'22 / 3 months) & Parque Natural Santa Maria (Jan-Mar'23/ 3 months). Objective: This exhibition intends to disseminate the results obtained in the scope of the INDICIT & INDICIT II projects, through a photographic exhibition created by the partner ISPRA. In the Azores archipelago, the exhibition opening will be integrated into a joint event with the Project "Blue Ocean: communicating to involve and educate", which will be in a format of a debate on the importance of marine protected areas, involving researchers, fishermen and organizations linked to tourism, thus bringing together different visions in the same table. The opening of the INDICIT II itinerant exhibition will take place prior to the aforementioned debate, being open to the public and broadcasted online. Target audience: Schools, Families & General public Expectable Impact (nº visitants):  Santa Maria Island – 250pax / São Miguel Island – 2400pax / Terceira Island – 600pax / Faial Island – 500pax / Flores Island – 150pax      

INDICIT II Mid-term meeting Paris, France 14-16th January

This week the INDICIT II partners attended a 3-day meeting (14th – 16th January 2019) in Paris, France to discuss progress since the in Tunisia 6 months ago, and propose actions for the next phase of the project. Members of the External Advisory Board members also attended this mid-term meeting to give their expertise on each aspect of the project, this knowledge from extremely valuable to the INDICIT II partners. More news to follow soon!  

INDICIT II Online Exhibition

The INDICIT II virtual photo exhibition is now online!
This collection of photographs highlights the impact of plastic pollution on marine wildlife & the researchers working to understand its impacts


Last week the INDICIT II partners attended a 3-day meeting (9th - 11th July 2019) in Monastir,Tunisia (hosted by Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer; INSTM) to discuss progress since the kick-off-meeting in Brussels 6 months ago, and propose actions for the next phase of the project. Topics of discussion included;
  • ACTIVITY 1: Management, coordination and communication
    • Summary of social media statistics and recording of Communication actions for report
  • ACTIVITY 2: Litter ingested by sea turtles
    • Progress update on Programme of Measures development
  • ACTIVITY 3: Entanglement in floating debris by sea turtles, birds and cetaceans
    • Workshop to develop protocol and create stakeholder list
  • ACTIVITY 4: Micro-debris ingested by fish
    • Workshop to develop protocol and plan pilot study
  • ACTIVITY 5: Synergies with other (inter)national programs
    • Partner input on list of relevant contacts for collaboration
There was also an opportunity to visit the local sea turtle rescue centre and watch a turtle, which was accidentally caught by fishers, being released. See Facebook for more photos - https://www.facebook.com/indicitproject/  

INDICIT II representatives attend ‘Monitoring and thresholds for MSFD marine litter impact criteria’ workshop in Berlin

On 21st – 22nd May 2019, Gaëlle Darmon (EPHE) and Marco Matiddi (ISPRA) participated in the workshop on “monitoring and thresholds for MSFD marine litter impact criteria”, organized in Berlin by Stefanie Werner (Federal Agency of environment) and François Galgani (IFREMER). The aim of the workshop was for experts and representatives of MSFD and the regional sea conventions to discuss the criteria for using marine litter impact indicators. The working group reviewed existing protocols and proposed new protocols for collecting data in a harmonized way. The thresholds below which debris are supposed to no longer cause damage to marine life, were also discussed. INDICIT results were shared, as well as INDICIT-II perspectives for a better evaluation of impacts of litter ingestion on sea turtles’ health, as well as for developing specific indicators for entanglement and micro-plastic ingestion.

INDICIT II Workshop, France

On the 15th October, the EPHE partners (Delphine Gambaiani, Gaëlle Darmon and Claude Miaud) organised a workshop with professional fisherman (Harbour Saintes Marie de la Mer) in order to present them the results of their collaboration. Fisherman have helped to collect stranded and bycaught sea turtles. INDICIT-II partners show them the ingested debris that had been found within these turtles. It was also the opportunity to discuss technical aspect of fauna entanglement in marine debris, such as passive versus active entanglement in fishing gear.

INDICIT is over… but the adventure continues soon with INDICIT-II!

Today is the last day of INDICIT project! We thank all stakeholders involved in the project so far: rescue centers, stranding networks, veterinary laboratories, our External Advisory Board, the DG ENV team. The project produced several tools such as a standard protocol available in 5 languages and a video tutorial (soon available)! More than 1200 data were collected, showing a strong impact of  debris on marine fauna. More information available soon:  the adventure continues for 2 years with INDICIT-II!    

INDICIT participated in the 21st Working Group on Good Environmental Status in Brussels

Claude Miaud and Gaëlle Darmon (CEFE-EPHE/CNRS) participated on the 21st Working Group on Good Environmental Status (GES) in Brussels, these last 19 and 20th March, with other projects funded under “DG ENV/MSFD Second Cycle” call: MISTIC SEAS 2, MEDCIS, SPICE, IDEM, QUIETMED, COHENET. Representatives of Member States, MSFD and Regional Sea Conventions of OSPAR, HELCOM and/or Barcelona discussed the final results of these projects, in regards to each of the 11 MSFD’s Descriptors, “Marine Litter” being the 10th of the list.   INDICIT project was presented, which highlighting the standard tools established in collaboration with stakeholders, such as the INDICIT standard protocol or the feasibility studies on litter impact indicators. The presentation also included GES proposals for Indicator “Litter ingestion by sea turtles”, based on the large number of standard data collected during the 2 years of the project.   The assembly discussed all projects’ results and made recommendations for stating the Good Environmental Status regarding each indicator’s progress.   INDICIT Final report, in which all detailed results will be presented, will be produced soon. This meeting was also the opportunity to present the objectives of INDICIT-II, which aims at reinforcing the networks and providing new tools for the implementation of the 3 litter impact indicators related to ingestion (micro and macro-litter) and entanglement.

Representatives of Member States, Marine Strategy Framework Directive and OSPAR, HELCOM and/or Barcelona Regional Sea Conventions discussed all projects’ results

INDICIT participates to LIFE EuroTurtles field trip during MEDTURTLE conference

On Friday 20th of October, 60 MedTurtle participants (including INDICIT represented by MNHN) headed the national park of Brijuni national park where they were welcomed by the manager and LIFE EuroTurtles project, a 5-year long collaborative project (September 2016 - August 2021), involving nine partners from six EU countries, aiming at improving the conservation status of loggerhead and green turtles in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea. LIFE Euroturtle team explained the aims and current results of the project, as well as the work performed for designing new satellite tracks at reasonable cost and using the solar energywith local technical scientific institutions. One equipped turtle was then successfully released, after it stayed 2 months for rehabilitating in the pond dedicated to the last step of care. The attendees then moved to Pula where the turtle received the first cares, and they visited the rescue center facilities and met the rescue team. The event was a good opportunity for INDICIT to strengthen ties with LIFE EuroTurtles in the perspective of developing synergies, since  the latter project is involved in ghost net cleaning, which may help to better identify entanglement risks localization and material, and also to improve the capacity of sea turtle rescue networks and the cooperation among beneficiaries, conservation organizations and competent authorities, which also meets INDICIT objectives.  

INDICIT participates to MacaroNight in the Azores

INDICIT partner FRCT presented INDICIT project during MacaroNight, an event part of the “European Researchers Night” project financed by Marie Curie Sklodowska actions. The Night takes place the last Friday of every September (this year on September 28th) and it aims to disseminate European scientific culture and attract future generations to take up a scientific career. This year, it brought toegether around 1050 participants. The MacaroNight project is a milestone for the European Researchers Nights, being the first project to bring together the Macaronesian archipelago in one single night where we will share and show our common heritage, culture and past, thus paving the way for a future full of Macaronesian researchers. In  2018, two countries, four islands and five organizer’s will join to launch an ambitious project that will unite our exceptional islands in a joint and simultaneous event. For more information please see: https://macaronight.eu/en/ http://frct.azores.gov.pt/en/project/macaronight/  

INDICIT participates to Plastic Busters MPAs Technical Workshop on Marine Litter Monitoring

INDICIT project attended a workshop organized by the InterReg Med project PLASTIC BUSTERs MPAs in Bonifacio, France, on the 8th of november 2018. The workshop, dedicated to « defining a monitoring strategy for marine litter in Med MPAs » highlighted the importance of synergies between projects, which were invited to present their goals, methods and results. The Technical Workshop provided the opportunity for exchanging informations, experiences in the perspective of an harmonized methodology to monitor the impacts of marine litter on MED ecosystems and on marine biodiversity, involving endangered species inhabiting pelagic and coastal MPAs. Plastic Busters MPAs is a 48 month   s InterReg project leaded by Ispra (Teresa Romeo) and University of Siena (Cristina Fossi). The 5 million budget is shared by 15 partners from 6 mediterranean countries for carrying out the 6 activities, one of them being the coordination with 17 associate and advisory board members. After thanking Jean-Michel Culioli, the director of the Reserve naturelle des Bouches de Bonifacio and Corsican authorities for welcoming the 2d project meeting and workshop, Cristina Fossi highlighted, while showing a video about interactions between debris and fin whales, that, being within Pelagos sanctuary, the project will contribute to the strong effort for the conservation of biodiversity , which pays a heavy tribute due to marine debris. INDICIT project work was mentionned in several presentations about monitoring, while in the afternoon Françoise Claro, WP5 leader presented the European project and proposals for synergies. It was confirmed that the Plastic Busters MPAs project will attend the INDICIT dissemination meeting in Athens, on 2018, the 4th of December.  

INDICIT participates to the First Annual Assembly of MEDCIS project

One of the missions of INDICIT is to collaborate with other programs with similar thematic for mutually benefiting from the acquired knowledge and developed methods. MEDCIS is a project with which INDICIT would collaborate regarding the second step of the MSFD implementation, especially in providing criteria and methodological standards for the Marine Litter Descriptor. Following the INDICIT presentation at the kick-off meeting of the MEDCIS project in Rome, Helen Kaberi (HCMR, Greece) presented the objectives, the structure as well as some of the first results and perspectives of INDICIT, after its first year of implementation, during the first Annual Assembly of MEDCIS, held in Athens, February 21, 2018. On February 23, Helen Kaberi participated in a Workshop dedicated to Marine Litter and chaired by Dr Francois Galgani, where she contributed to the discussion on the criteria elements and the criteria of the Marine Litter Descriptor by presenting preliminary results of the INDICIT project not only to MEDCIS participants but also to representatives of relevant European and INTERREG projects.

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INDICIT participates to the marine debris and cetacean strandings workshop of ECS conference

From April 6th to April 10th 2018, the 32nd annual conference of the European Cetacean Society took place in La Spezia, Italy. The European Cetacean Society (ECS) aims to promote and advance the scientific studies and conservation efforts of marine mammals and to gather and disseminate information about them. This year's conference focused on exploring the roles of strategic partnerships in marine conservation.   During the workshop on marine debris and cetacean strandings, Benjamin Guichard, Coordinator of the French MSFD monitoring program of marine mammals and marine turtles, and member of INDICIT's Advisory Board, presented the results of INDICIT's entanglement study, in a presentation called "Is entanglement a relevant indicator of the impact of marine litter on marine mammals?" (available here).   Some recommendations emerged from the workshop in order to collaboratively identify, prioritise and mitigate impacts of marine debris on marine mammals, inform policy making decisions and help address the marine debris problem in particular through data collected during strandings. Its conclusions will be submitted to the scientific commitee of the International Whaling Commission.  

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INDICIT participation to the 1st marine turtle national meeting conducted in the XV portuguese – spanish Herpetology conference

The Spanish INDICIT partners, University of Las Palmas (ULPGC) and University of Valencia (UVEG) had attended the first Marine Turtle National Meeting conducted in the XV Portuguese-Spanish Herpetology Conference, performed on September 5th in Salamanca, Spain. During the meeting Dr. Ana Liria Loza presented the conference: “Collaborative network for monitoring debris impact on marine turtles in Spain and Portugal (INDICIT project)”, to explain the important work conducted by INDICIT partners to involve different stakeholders in the project. An important network has been developed in Spain and Portugal to achieve the main goals of the project, such us disseminate standard procedures for sampling the greater amount of marine turtles.    
Title: COLLABORATIVE NETWORK FOR MONITORING DEBRIS IMPACT ON MARINE TURTLES IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL (INDICIT PROJECT). Ana Liria-Loza1,3; Ohiana Revuelta2; Patricia Ostiategui-Francia3; María Vale4; Luz Paramino4; Christopher Pham5; Frederic Vandeperre5; Pascual Calabuig-Miranda6; Jorge Orós1; Santiago Mayans7; José Cabot-Neves8; Ana Calero9; Félix Medina-Hidalgo10; Miguel A. Rodríguez11; Anna Casquet-Pérez12; Carolina Fernández-Maldonado13; Eva M. Morón-Manchado14; María José Gens-Abujas15; Fernando Escribano-Cánovas15; Gloria Fernández-Calmuntia16; Guillem Félix-Torrilla16; José Luis Crespo17; Vicente Maro17; Juan J. Castillo-Martín18; Verónica Nuñez-Reyes19; Leyre Ruiz-Sancho20; Marco Santos21; Joao Correira22; Rui Freitas23; Nuno Marques23; Thomas Dellinger24 & Jesús Tomás2 1Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC); 2Universidad de Valencia (UVEG); 3ADS Biodiversidad; 4Fundo Regional de Ciencia e Tecnología (FRCT) Azores; 5 nstituto do Mar, Univesidade das Açores (IMAR/UAc);  6Centro de Recuperación fauna silvestre de Tafira (Cabildo de Gran Canaria); 7Centro de Recuperación de fauna silvestre La Tahonilla (Cabildo de Tenerife); 8Cabildo Insular de Lanzarote; 9Cabildo Insular de Fuerteventura; 10Cabildo Insular de La Palma; 11Cabildo Insular El Hierro; 12Fundació para la conservació i recuperació d’animais marins (CRAM); 13Centro de Gestión del medio marino andaluz (CEGMA); 14Centro de Recuperación fe Fauna marina EQUINAC; 15Centro de Recuperación de fauna marina silvestre del Valle; 16Palma Aquarium; 17Fundación Oceanogràfic; 18CREMA – Aula del Mar, Málaga; 19Centro de Recuperación de especies marinas Cap Blanc, Ibiza; 20Ambar Elkartea, País Vasco; 21Rede de Arrojamentos de Cetáceos dos Açores (RACA) Direção Regional dos Assuntos do Mar (DRAM) Governo dos Açores; 22Flying Sharks, Horta (Açores); 23Museu da Baleia, Madeira; 24Universidad de Madeira (UMA). e-mail: carettana@gmail.com   SUMMARY: INDICIT Project was born in order to determine and monitor the good environmental status (GES) of the European waters based on the Descriptor 10 (Marine debris) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In order to establish the GES at European waters, it is important to determine the current status, monitor spatial and temporal trends and identify the efficacy of the corrective measures implemented. INDICIT Project proposed sea turtles as indicator species of Descriptor 10 for the Southern European waters, due to the high interaction between marine debris and sea turtles. INDICIT project aims to develop several indicators to monitor marine debris through their impact on sea turtles and biota, to be implement in the MSFD. This project contemplates a consortium of 10 partners from 5 EU countries (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) and 2 contractors of the Barcelona Convention (Turkey and Tunisia). The Spanish partners are the University of Valencia (UVEG) and University of las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC); and the Regional Fund for Science and Technology (FRCT) with the collaboration of the Instituto do Mar (IMAR, University of Acores), from Portugal. To achieve a proper monitoring of the GES, it was crucial the collaboration of main actors involved in the rescue and attendance of marine wildlife, such us stranding networks, local and national authorities or recovery centres. For this reason INDICIT project has developed a Collaborative Network where standard procedures have been shared and fundamental and optional data are being collected properly to identify the real impact of marine debris on sea turtles and biota. The Collaborative Networks developed by Spain and Portugal within the INDICIT project are presented in this work, to show the great effort that has been developed by both countries to improve sea turtle conservation strategies and recognize the great work of all collaborators involved.

INDICIT partner of the Paris Tropical Aquarium Ocean Festival

On the occasion of the World Oceans Day, the Tropical Aquarium of Paris organized on June 9-10 the 2d edition of the Ocean Festival, a free event to understand the challenges faced by our oceans. A few partners were invited to contribute to the event. INDICIT held a stand with different activities for children and adults to get to know the threat marine litter and plastics represent for the oceans and marine animals.          As part of the INDICIT challenge, kids were invited to create a turtle made of plastic waste (bottle caps, bags, plastic mesh...). Throughout the day, approximately 80 kids participated to the activities!     

INDICIT partners 4th project meeting in the Azores

On September 19-20, INDICIT partners gathered in the Azores for a meeting  for their final technical workshop before the final meeting of the project. The meeting was organized by INDICIT partner FRCT. All partners reviewed and approved the data files, and considered new perspectives of data acquisition in the prospect of the final analysis and the production of final results of the projects. They noted as well the progress made in the networking even outside the working area of the project, which will help to exchange of key information and share methodology. Partners also discussed about their participation in international meetings in order to disseminate the project results : the Mediterranean Conference on Marine turtles in October where INDICIT will co-organize a workshop with RAC SPA, as well as the International Sea Turtle Symposium in February 2019 and worked on the agenda of INDICIT DIssemination meeting in Athens on December 4.  

INDICIT partners analyse ingested plastic from marine turtles

As part of the project INDICIT II partners have been analysing ingested from marine turtles.
Examples below:
1. A bycaught loggerhead sample analysed by UVEG. The turtle of the picture was captured by a trawler on  09/092019 20 nauthical miles off Altea (Alicante Province, East Spain). The turtle was LCC= 80 cm and weight= 69 Kg. This turtle had ingested 9.6g of plastic including bottle lids (pictured below) as well as more USE SHE and USE FRAG plastics.
2. A stranded loggerhead found on a beach in the northern part of Cyprus  on the 19/03/19 had ingested 4.8g of plastic. Of the 11 items some included food packets and even a Halloween costume witches finger! (pictured below)

INDICIT partners at the International Sea Turtle Symposium

On February 18-23 2018, the International Sea Turtle Symposium was taking place in Kobe (Japan). The Symposium is organized by the International Sea Turtle Society, whose mission is to "promote understanding, appreciation, and value of sea turtles and their habitats through the exchange and sharing of information, techniques, ideas, and inspiration that will promote actions from local to global levels, for the advancement of sea turtle biology and conservation." INDICIT partners were able to disseminate the INDICIT project through two posters and share knowledge with other researchers and people working in the field from all over the world during the workshop dedicated to Interaction between debris and marine turtles worldwide (details here) INDICIT posters were disseminated:  

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INDICIT partners attend MEDSEALITTER project meetings in Valencia (Spain)

INDICIT partners (from France, Greece, Italy and Spain) attended to MEDSEALITTER 3rd Steering Committee Meeting and 4th Technical and scientific meeting in Valencia (Spain) May 9th, 10th and 11th 2018.   MEDSEALITTER is a project implemented on the Mediterranean basin, specifically dedicated to the MPAs aiming at developing specific marine litter monitoring protocols.   Methodologies tested to evaluate macro-plastic pollution at large regional scale as well as more local scale (eg Marine protected areas), macro-plastic ingestion in turtles, micro-plastic ingestion in fishes and polychetae were discussed. All the partners are now motivated to start the testing period in the field with all stakeholders!    

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INDICIT presented at the 6th International Marine Debris Conference (6IMDC)

Françoise Claro (MNHN) and Cecilia Silvestri (ISPRA) represented INDICIT project at the 6th International Marine Debris Conference (6IMDC) in San Diego, California (March 12-16, 2018).   Françoise Claro from MNHN participated on March 14th to the session "Tools and Constraints in monitoring interactions between litter and megafauna", aiming to monitor opportunities and challenges for major marine taxa from the view of using marine fauna as ecological indicators of ocean and ecosystem health. She shared the results of INDICIT's feasibility study of an entanglement indicator in a presentation called "Is entanglement a relevant indicator of the impact of marine litter on biota?" The presentation is available here.   On March 15th, Cecilia Silvestri from ISPRA presented INDICIT project in the session "Policies, Other Initiatives And Technical Support Of The European Union Against Marine Debris" addressing the different EU legislative instruments and policy initiatives to combat marine litter. Her slideshow"Trends in the Amount and Composition of Litter Ingested by Sea Turtle: The Indict Project" can be found here.   You can find more information about the 6IMDC conference on their website.    

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INDICIT presented at the inaugural meeting of MEDCIS project

One of the missions of INDICIT is to collaborate with other programs with similar thematic for mutually benefiting from the acquired knowledge and developed methods. Marco Matiddi (ISPRA, Italy), leader of Activity 4, spoke on behalf INDICIT at the launch meeting of the MEDCIS program, a DG Env project coordinated by Kalliopi Pagou (HCMR, Greece). The program, launched on the 1st of March 2017 for 2 years, bears its acronym from « Support Mediterranean Member States towards coherent and Coordinated Implementation of the second phase of the MSFD ». As INDICIT but with a focus on the Mediterranean sea, it aims at facilitating the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) by providing the criteria and methodological standards towards coordinated approaches among the regions. MEDCIS will take in consideration all MSFD Descriptors, highlighting on Biodiversity, Noise and Marine litter. Marco presented the objectives of INDICIT and the articulation of its activities and tasks. A joint work and exchanges among the INDICIT partners and the 80 scientists from the 6 Mediterranean countries of MEDCIS, can be expected in the next 2 years!    

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INDICIT project launching!

Two days of brainstorming work on the project management among supportive and motivated partners The partners from France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey, met in Brussels for the Kick-off-meeting and a first workshop on 9th and 10th February 2017. Welcomed at the French Occitanie region’s Brussels premises, Claude Miaud and Gaëlle Darmon, from CNRS-France, coordinators of the project, invited the participants to agree on the actions to be carried out during the next 2 years. After a reminder of the administrative imperatives of the program by Chloé RICHARD, previous project manager of the project at the CNRS European Delegation, the participants presented their areas of expertise and their role for the achievement of the project objectives. The coordinators of each of the 5 Activities recalled the aim and the tasks to perform, guided by Michail PAPADOYANNAKIS, in charge of the project at the DG Env, who provided criticisms and advice to reach them. Lobna BEN NAKHLA (Barcelona Convention Secretary, Marta PARDO DE VERA MARTINEZ-GIL (MAGRAMA, Spain), members of the External Advisory Board, and Christos IOAKEIMIDIS (MEDPOL / UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinating Unit), joined the participants the second day for the first INDICIT workshop in order to give advise for the collection of data and new knowledge in support of environmental policies. Thanks to two facilitators (Muele Todo et the Value web), all the participants drew up a list of actions to be carried out over the next 6 months in terms of data acquisition and of communication. The next meeting among INDICIT partners will be held in Italy in July! The partners of the INDICIT program at the Kick-off-meeting the 9th February 2017 in front of the buildings of the European Commission in Brussels, enthusiastic despite the cold! (From left to right : Maria VALE (FRCT, Portugal), Luz PARAMIO (FRCT, Portugal), Marco SANTOS (DRAM, Portugal ; EAB member), Christopher PHAM (IMAR, Portugal),Ana LIRIA LOZA (ULPGC, Spain), Eleni KABERI (HCMR, Greece), Jesus TOMAS (UVEG, Spain), Catherine TSANGARIS (HCMR, Greece), Marco MATIDDI (ISPRA, Italy), Léa BRUNELLE (MNHN, France),Claude MIAUD (CNRS, France), Gaëlle DARMON (CNRS, France), Françoise CLARO (MNHN, France), Yakup Kaska (PAU-DEKAMER, Turkey), Andrea DE LUCIA (CNR-IAMC, Italy), Dogan SOZBILEN (PAU-DEKAMER, Turkey), Eyup BASKALE (PAU-DEKAMER, Turkey))

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INDICIT training session during the 3d French Marine Turtle Group Colloquium

INDICIT participated to the third French Marine Turtle Group Colloquium, organized in La Rochelle. Gaëlle Darmon (CNRS) and Florence Dell'Amico (RTMAE) animated a training session to the INDICIT protocol developed for the monitoring of marine litter ingestion. INDICIT was also presented to all participants on Thursday during the participation to a workshop dedicated to rescue centers.  

INDICIT’s work is presented to general public during EXPOCIÈNCIA 2018

On May 26th, INDICIT was presented to the general public in Valencia (Spain) during the event EXPOCIÈNCIA 2018. EXPOCIÈNCIA is a scientific and informative event with playful proposals around science and innovation, open to general public and in which children of all ages can participate. Around 5000 people participated to the event this year, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. INDICIT partners from the University of Valencia held a stand where they talked about marine debris and INDICIT project, and showed marine debris obtained from different necropsied turtles (Caretta caretta) at the Marine Zoology Unit.    

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ISPRA at CNRS to finalize the INDICIT’s documentary

From 27 to 29 August, ISPRA went to the CNRS EPHE (the INDICIT’s project coordinator), in Montpellier, to finalize the documentary, one of the outputs of the project. ISPRA visited the CNRS laboratories filming the researchers activities and the turtle rescue and recovery centre. It was possible to film a rescued sea turtle released into the recovery area. Shooting and interviews were carried out to accomplish the work already carried out with other INDICIT partners. The work will be completed by the end of December and available on the website.   Thanks also to the support of all the partners.    

Italy (November 16, 2017): a new law banning microplastics in cosmetic products?

Several environmentalist organizations called for the complete ban of microplastics in cosmetic products by 2019. The law proposal was given to the Italian Parliament on November 16. It defines microplastics as any particle of plastic measuring 5 mm or less, usually used for scrubs, dental pastes, soaps... These particles are not blocked by purification systems and end up directly in the sea, where they are ingested by fauna. The UN Environment Frontiers 2016 report mentions microplastic pollution as one of the six global emerging issues of environmental concern. The law proposal proposes to forbid production and selling of care products with microplastics from January 1st 2019 in Italy. Numerous countries already banned microplastics in cosmetics such as the United States, or more recently France where microplastics will be eliminated from January 1st 2018.   The feasibility study of an indicator of microplastic ingestion by fish will be an important output of INDICIT.  

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July 4-5, 2017 : INDICIT Partners meet in Rome

Organized by ISPRA, the first meeting and workshops of INDICIT project took place in Rome from July 4 to July 5, 2017.

Twenty-two participants, coming from the 7 countries represented in the consortium joined in ISPRA building. After welcome allocutions given by ISPRA and the Italian External Advisory Board from the Ministry of the Environment (MATTM), INDICIT task leaders presented the progress made in each activity during the first 6 months of the project duration. These presentations were followed by 5 workshops, during which partners discussed about the next steps of their work, the most appropriate methods they have to use in the following months for collecting and exchanging information, as well as for communicating knowledge to the general audience. A video spot for INDICIT project, performed by ISPRA, and including videos available on the web, was exhibited to the participants and will be soon available on this website. This video represents a prefiguration of the documentary which will be produced by Italy and France.

[caption id="attachment_468" align="aligncenter" width="1800"]                                                 Working room at ISPRA premises[/caption]

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July 6, 2017 : A training session for Mediterranean stakeholders

An important part of INDICIT project aims at providing tools for technicians who will carry out the monitoring of marine debris ingested by sea turtles in Mediterranean and regional sea conventions areas. Since this work requires special technical skills and standardized protocols, national and international training sessions will take place throughout the project duration in the 7 countries participating to the project.

This first international training session, organized by ISPRA, welcomed 26 participants in the recent and perfectly equiped Marine Turtle Research Centre of Anton Dohrn marine station in Portici. Thanks to UNEP MAP MedPol Program and the regional activity center of Barcelona convention Special protected areas protocol, 6 stakeholders coming from Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Israel were able to attend the session.

The participants were invited to observe the necropsy and dissection of a digestive tract for the collection of debris ingested by a loggerhead turtle, as well as the different steps of collecting the debris from the oesophagus, stomach and intestines. Participants were then invited to perform some opera tions on intestines and samples, and to classify and identify themselves all the types of debris, carrefully following the european monitoring protocol.   [caption id="attachment_479" align="aligncenter" width="438"] Training to autopsy a loggerhead sea turtle[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_484" align="aligncenter" width="441"] Different types of items regularly found in sea turtle digestive tract[/caption]      

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Latest scientific publications from INDICIT II partners

Last year the INDICIT II partners were authors in a number of scientific publications focusing on the issue of plastic pollution and its impact on marine wildlife. These include:   FRCT: Microplastic in the stomachs of open-ocean and deep-sea fishes of the North-East Atlantic UVEG: Evaluating the presence of microplastics in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded in the Western Mediterranean Sea EPHE: Floating marine macro litter: Density reference values and monitoring protocol settings from the coast to offshore. Results from the MEDSEALITTER project UNEXE: Riverine plastic pollution from fisheries: Insights from the Ganges River system Message in a bottle: Open source technology to track the movement of plastic pollution   All of these publication can be found on the publications section of the INDICIT II website



Leatherback necropsy, France

Aquarium La Rochelle (Florence Dell’Amico) welcomed INDICIT II EPHE team (Gaëlle Darmon and Claude Miaud) to necropsy sea turtles found along the French channel & Atlantic coasts.
  Among these was a female leatherback turtle. Its stomach was filled with a plastic packaging sheet, 1 metre in length.  

Local training action in the Azores

Within the framework of the European project INDICIT, the Regional Fund for Science and Technology (FRCT) and the Regional Directorate for Maritime Affairs (DRAM), in collaboration with IMAR and Flying Sharks, organized on December 4th a Workshop entitled – “Rede de Arrojamentos de Tartarugas marinhas - estruturação, procedimentos e protocolos” (Sea turtles stranding network - structure, procedures and protocols). This workshop objective was to discuss with all the stakeholders the manipulation, operational procedures and sampling and rehabilitation protocols of sea turtles. In total, the workshop gathered 27 participants.  

Microplastics in beaches: video presentation and beach cleaning

On December 29th in Valencia (Spain), and in collaboration with the local Spanish NGO Xaloc, the University of Valencia (INDICIT partner) presented a video about microplastics in beaches. After the presentation, an awareness action of beach cleaning was organized with children and volunteers. Around 40 persons participated to the event. The video is available below, in Spanish language:   [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAf0xSWUiAQ&feature=youtu.be[/embed]      

New INDICIT video spot showing sea turtle monitoring at sea

INDICIT partner ISPRA is leading the production of a documentary showing the various aspects of the work done by the stakeholders in the frame of INDICIT project. In this new video spot, shot in the Azores, you can discover how INDICIT team monitors the health of sea turtles at sea!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb-EN8W7ULg

New publication in Azores: 83% of juvenile loggerhead turtles had ingested debris, mostly plastics

The INDICIT team based in the Azores archipelago (Portugal) recently published a study on the ingestion of marine debris by loggerhead turtles off the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. This study, focusing on oceanic-stage loggerheads showed that 83% of those pelagic juveniles had ingested debris (mostly plastic), including large microplastics (1-5mm). The most frequent items were plastic fragments followed by the remains of plastic sheets, foam and fishing-related plastic as synthetic ropes and fishing lines. The results of this study demonstrate that plastic pollution acts as another stressor for this vulnerable life stage of loggerhead turtles in the North Atlantic. read the publication: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17304885  

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On the occasion of World Oceans Day and World Sea Turtle Day, take on INDICIT challenge!

On the occasion of the World Oceans Day (June 8th) and World Sea Turtle Day (June 16th), express your creativity and help INDICIT project partners raise awareness about the threat marine litter represents for sea turtles and other marine animals.  


All the details of the challenge, practical information about the activities organized accross Europe

and pedagogical material are available

>> here <<


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Plastic Pollution Awareness Event, Cyprus 6th December 2019

On the 6th December 2019 INDICIT II partner SPOT (Society for the Protection of Turtles, Cyprus) hosted an event in collaboration with Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre"Together Against Plastic" to raise awareness of the issue. This included a description of INDICIT II work and a screening the INDICIT documentary to inform the audience of the impacts of plastic pollution of marine turtles and other taxa.

Presentation of INDICIT and MEDSEALITTER programs to a group of environmental mediators

On July 5th in Sète (France), members of the European projects INDICIT and MEDSEALITTER participated to a training session for 15 members of the staff of the CPIE (Permanent Center for the Initiation to the Environment), in charge of the communication and environmental mediation with the general public and school groups. Claude Miaud, INDICIT coordinator, presented the program and the impact of marine pollution by plastic litter, and Delphine Gambaiani (doctoral student as part of the MEDSEALITTER program) presented MEDSEALITTER, and talked in more details about the impact of microplastics on marine biodiversity. The staff was very interested in this scientific intervention, which will help them to raise awareness about the impact of plastic and microplastics on marine fauna and flora, and the current research and projects working on these issues.  

Presentation of INDICIT at the training session of French Mediterranean Sea Turtle Stranding Network (RTMMF)

In France, 2 stranding networks are dedicated to collect scientific information about the health of sea turtles populations observed in french waters. Last November 9 2017, 20 new observers were trained, who will go on field for rescuing stranded sea turtles on the French Mediterranean coast. Among the data they will collect, those about interactions between marine litter and sea turtles are one of the most important category of information; these data will be of particular interest for assessing the efficiency of MSFD and Barcelona convention conservation measures. On the second day of the training, INDICIT was presented to participants and initiated valuable exchanges with French partners.  

Photo credit : Ana Liria Loza

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Presentation of the INDICIT program in France

Presentation of the INDICIT program in France,

a way to generate synergies among the French stakeholders (NGOs, scientists, environmental structures, policy-makers...)

The INDICIT program was presented to the French stakeholders on this 7th June, 2017. This was the opportunity for biologists specialized in the study and the protection of sea turtles, birds or mammals, oceanographers, managers and policy-makers from associations, laboratories and natural parks to met and learn about each other areas of expertise and actions. Several current actions were presented, such as the mobile application for citizen participatory observations of marine fauna developed by the association Cybelle Planete, or the laboratories' modeling works on litter spatial distribution. Discussions focused also on the local standardized procedures for alerting authorities in case of the finding of dead or live sea turtles as well as on the protocols for the collect of standardized data on litter impacts on marine fauna. This meeting allowed to meet a whole network of stakeholders and explore ways of possible collaborations to acquire knowledge on litter impacts on marine wildlife, particularly in terms of ingestion and entanglement, an important task to reach INDICIT objectives.


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Presentation of the INDICIT progress to the 19th meeting of the Working Group on Good Environmental Status in Brussels

The Working Group on the Good Environmental Status (WG GES) of the European Commission invited INDICIT to participate in their meeting held in Brussels, Belgium last 22th March 2018.   Each member state of the Marine Strategy Framework (MSFD) and the Regional Sea Conventions (OSPAR, HELCOM, etc.) reported and discussed the follow-up work on GES for each of the 11 Descriptors of the MSFD at the Union level. The assembly underlined the issue of “Marine litter” as a priority. The progress of scientific programs to define the GES was acknowledged, also highlighting the need for solutions to decrease plastic pollution at seas.   Claude Miaud and Gaëlle Darmon, as representative of the INDICIT consortium, presented the results obtained after one year of study. Claude Miaud underlined the progress of the INDICIT program towards a first assessment of GES for the indicator “Litter ingested by sea turtles” and the potential of other indicators such as “entanglement and “micro-plastics”.  

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Project INDICIT participates in the “Knowledge-transfer Conferences” of the European projects MARCET and MISTIC SEAS II

Partners of the INDICIT Project (I.U. Ecoaqua – ULPGCC, Spain and DRAM – Açores, Portugal) and several of their related stakeholders were present at the “Knowledge transfer Conferences” of the European projects MARCET and MISTIC SEAS II held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on November 29th and 30th, 2017. Currently four European projects focusing on the conservation and monitoring of marine mega-fauna (mainly sea turtles and marine mammals) are taking place in the Macaronesia Region:
  • MARCET (“Red Macaronésica de Transferencia de Conocimientos y Tecnologías Interregional y Multidisciplinar para proteger, vigilar y monitorizar los cetáceos y el medio marino, y analizar y explotar de forma sostenible la actividad Turística asociada”)
  • MISTIC SEAS II (“Seguimiento y evaluación coordinada de la biodiversidad marina en la Macaronesia”),
  • LIFE IP INTEMARES (“Gestión integrada, innovadora y participativa de la Red Natura 2000 en el medio marino español”)
  • INDICIT (Implementation of the Indicator “Impact of marine litter on sea turtles and biota’ in RSC and MSFD areas) .
All projects were presented to the open public on November 29th at the Elder Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

       Ana Liria Loza (IU Ecoaqua-ULPGC) presenting INDICIT Project to the open public in the Elder Museum

  On the 30th, practical sessions were conducted in the Animal Health University Institute (IUSA – ULPGC) to the members (partners, technical staff and stakeholders) of the four projects trying to standardize and homogenize methodologies and sampling methods. Finally, attendants participated in several necropsies (two turtles and two dolphins) guided by IUSA staff.

       Ana Liria Loza (IU Ecoaqua-ULPGC) presenting INDICIT methodologies, and INDICIT partners and members from Advisory Board (IU Ecoaqua – ULPGC, IMAR and DRAM –Azores) participating in the necropsy session at the Animal Health University Institute

  The aim of these meeting was to create and/or increase synergies between different projects working on the Macaronesia Region, focused on standardize sampling and monitoring methodologies. All sessions are available online in MARCET Project webpage (www.marcet-mac.eu)

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Publication of a new INDICIT study in the Azores!

Within the framework of the INDICIT project, the team based in the Azores archipelago (Portugal) recently published a study characterizing floating macro debris around Madeira and Azores archipelago. This study is an analysis of data collected by fisheries observers between 2015 and 2017. The results showed that among the 2406 visual transects, 482 floating debris were recorded and were mainly composed of general plastic user items (48%), plastic packaging (21%) and derelict fishing gears (18%). Debris densities were within the ranges reported for other oceanic areas and tended to be more elevated around the Central group of the Azores, where turtles are known to aggregate.

Publication of a new INDICIT study on marine debris ingestion monitoring in loggerhead sea turtle

INDICIT team from Spain recently contributed to the publication of an article in Environmental Pollution on the topic of the monitoring of marine debris ingestion by sea turtle. The article highlights how the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta can be used as indicator of pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, and the necessity of the use of a standard protocol, which is one of the main objectives of the INDICIT project.

Publication of INDICIT standard protocol for monitoring marine litter impacts on sea turtles

One of the objectives of INDICIT project is to help managers to evaluate the efficiency of restoration measures by developing a common approach on monitoring marine debris ingestion by sea turtles, a species that play the role of "bio-indicator". To this end, INDICIT partners created a set of standardized tools for the collection of data on litter ingestion by sea turtles. The standard protocol and the observation sheet can now be found on INDICIT website >> INDICIT protocols.  

Save the date for INDICIT dissemination meeting!

Partners of the european project INDICIT have the pleasure to inform you of the upcoming INDICIT dissemination meeting on December 4th 2018 in Athens (Greece). This meeting will be the opportunity to present the results, the new potential indicators and the standard protocols developed by INDICIT for the monitoring of litter impacts on marine fauna in the frame of MSFD and Regional Sea Conventions (OSPAR, Barcelona, Helcom). A discussion panel of experts and international authorities representatives will discuss the perspectives of integration of INDICIT results in the marine litter impact monitoring programs. For those unable to physically attend the meeting, a livestreaming will be available.

If you are willing to attend (physically or on the livestreaming),

please register here.

  Credit : Steve Swayne (CC)  

  For more information :

Single use plastic to be banned in France

A new decree published 27 December 2019 imposes the ban of single-use plastic products from the 1st January 2020 in France. This ban of single-use plastic products includes those made entirely or partially from plastic and which are not designed, created or placed on the market to be part of a circular economy plan. For example products now must be returned to the producer to be refilled or reused for a the same use. This new ban concerns packaging and packaging waste such as cups, disposable plates, forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks, meal trays, ice cream pots, salad bowls and boxes, straws, glass or beaker lids.    

Turtle release and #INDICITchallenge art activities on World Oceans Day

On the World Oceans Day (8th of June) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council organized a complete program for 300 students from preschool, primary school and high school.  Several organizations collaborated to create different activities for students, such as theatre, gymkhana, face painting and art works. For this occasion, two European projects, INDICIT and MISTIC SEAS II, collaborated together in the #INDICITchallenge, and kids from preschool used bottle caps to create 3 artworks and learn how marine debris affect ocean life. Finally, a loggerhead turtle recovering at the Gran Canaria Recovery Centre was released in Las Canteras beach (Las Palmas city, Canary Islands) by Ana Liria Loza (ULPGC). The turtle was found 5 weeks before entangled in marine debris in southern Gran Canaria. The release was livestreamed on INDICIT Facebook page.

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Two INDICIT trainings in Gran Canaria and Tenerife islands

The ULPGC (ECOAQUA Institute), partner of the INDICIT project in Canary Island, has conducted training sessions to homogenize standard methodologies in Canary Islands. Training in Gran Canaria Island has been conducted on July 5th 2018 in the ECOAQUA Institute (ULPGC) facilities, Taliarte, in collaboration with the Wildlife Recovery Center of Tafira (Cabildo of Gran Canaria). Training in Tenerife Island took place on July 10th 2018 in the Cultural Centre of Los Cristianos (Arona, Tenerife) in collaboration with the Wildlife Recovery Center of La Tahonilla (Cabildo of Tenerife). In Gran Canaria 20 people attended the meeting and 29 people in Tenerife, involving technicians from different authorities which usually collaborate in the regional stranding network, such us local and national Police, council technician, port agents, environmental rangers, etc., as well as private organizations working on whale watching tours, which usually found damaged turtles at sea. The course has been organized by the ULPGC (partner of INDICIT project), in collaboration with the NGO ADS Biodiversidad and the two regional stakeholders, Cabildo of Gran Canaria (WRC Tafira) and Cabildo of Tenerife (WRC Tahonilla). The training included the standard procedures developed by INDICIT project to monitor marine debris ingested by sea turtles, a general view of marine turtles on the Canary Islands, special actions to manage marine turtles and the collaboration with other European projects such us MISTIC SEAS II and MARCET focused on marine mammals seabirds stranding networks.   [caption id="attachment_1236" align="aligncenter" width="814"] Training in Gran Canaria[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1237" align="aligncenter" width="808"] Training in Tenerife[/caption]

Two new INDICIT training sessions in the Canary islands!

INDICIT project has conducted two new workshops to standardize data collection protocols on stranded turtles in the Canary Islands. The INDICIT Partner University of Las Palmas (ULPGC) conducted in the end of January two new workshops in collaboration with regional councils (Cabildo Insular de La Palma and Cabildo Insular de Fuerteventura) responsible of the stranding networks in La Palma and Fuerteventura Islands respectively.     One workshop took place in Santa Cruz de La Palma on 25th January. Different institutions involved in sea turtle strandings in the Island attempt the event: Environmental Agents and technical staff of La Palma Regional Government (Cabildo Insular), City Councils, Local and National Police, Firemen, etc.             The other workshop was conducted in Puerto del Rosario on 30th January, where different institutions involved in sea turtle strandings were present: Environmental Agents and technical staff of Fuerteventura Regional Government (Cabildo Insular), City Councils, Police, Ports Agents, and other collaborators.         Both Regional Government are pleased to be involved in INDICIT Project as collaborators and started to use the INDICIT standardize protocols from the beginning of 2018. This workshops are part of INDICIT actions in Canary Islands, and was implemented by INDICIT staff in collaboration with the NGO ADS Biodiversidad.

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Visit from COMMON project to Tunisia 18-20 February

Partners from COMMON (Med Project) visited Tunisia on 18-20 February to work on the established synergy between them and the INDICIT II Project. They will work on monitoring marine litter impacts on sea turtles and other marine biota. Members of the partner INSTM presented the results of INDICIT project to members of the COMMON project.
  The meeting was held at Monastir sea turtle rescue centre (pictured below)

WWF event, Tunisia 30th October 2019

On October 30th INDICIT II partner INSTM (Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer) took part in a WWF event "Blue Panda Visit Tunisia 2019". INSTM participated in a sea turtle conservation roundtable, organised by WWF-NA and UNEP-MAP-SPA/RAC. They presented the main activities and results of INDICIT/INDICIT II projects. As well raising awareness among the general public about plastic pollution impact on marine fauna.