Management status and policy direction of submerged marine debris for improvement of port environment in Korea

Jong Seok Song, Yong Woo Lee, Young Sik Han, Young Kwon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As the issue of marine waste is emerging around the world, it is urgent to come up with measures to manage marine waste. This study examined the status of the collection project of submerged marine debris (SMD) undertaken to improve the environment of major ports by the central and local governments of Korea. Approximately, 7,174 and 2,817 tons of SMD have been collected at major trade ports and coastal ports, respectively, over the last 7 years (2014-2020). The projects to collect SMD have achieved effectiveness, reducing marine accidents in the port. For example, entanglement accidents caused by floating debris also decreased by 11% in 2018 compared to the previous year. The results of the sediment environment investigation before and after the collection of SMD also showed that the species of benthos and their population density increased, and the concentration of acid volatile sulfides (AVSs) decreased. To reduce marine accidents in ports and improve the benthic environment, it will be necessary to provide policy support, such as investigating the distribution status of SMD regularly, improving the effectiveness of the collection method, identifying the way to recycle collected debris, maintaining the public-private cooperative system, and establishing a specialized agency for the systematic management of marine debris.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-452
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Geosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Benthic environment
  • Collection method of SMD
  • Port environment
  • Submerged marine debris


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