MAELSTROM 7th Steering Committee and General Assembly

The MAELSTROM team gathered in Malta on March 15 and 16 for its 7th Steering Committee and General Assembly. The meeting took place at the beautiful headquarters of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, providing partners with the opportunity to discuss the project’s status and to lay out a comprehensive Plan of Action for the remaining nine months of project activities.

While much has already been accomplished, the team has important expectations for the upcoming steps, particularly regarding the scaling up of two marine litter removal technologies – the Robotic Seabed Cleaning Platform and the Bubble Barrier. Additionally, the stakeholder engagement process and commitment to tackling plastic pollution, along with MAELSTROM’s contribution to the science-policy dialog within the European Union for the implementation of the EU Mission Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030, will be key focus areas for the months ahead.

On Saturday 16, the team organized a clean-up activity in the Gnejna Bay, together with the volunteers from Nature Trust Fund, a non-profit non-governmental environmental organization working in the Maltese Islands, partner of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The event was an opportunity to use the latest version of the MAELSTROM App, whose beach litter monitoring functionalities have been upgraded under the Mission Ocean project REMEDIES. In an apparently clean beach, the MAELSTROM team and volunteers from Nature Trust Fund, a total of 48 people, have collected 57 kg of litter in just 2 hours of clean-up activities. Most of the waste collected were fragments of non-foamed plastic, plastic caps/lids, cigarette butts and plastic crisps packets/ sweet wrappers. There is still much to be done regarding civil society awareness on plastic pollution!

We thank our partners University of Malta, ISDI Group and Venice Lagoon Plastic Free for the brilliant organization of both events.