Dear SCOR WG 153 FLOTSAM partners and friends,
During such extraordinary time, we, as the Chairs of the FLOTSAM working group, would like to send our thoughts and support to all people directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who are currently living under lockdown, quarantine or self-isolation. We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe in these difficult times, all over the world.
The Chairs of FLOTSAM have considered a number of options and contingencies to address this rapidly evolving situation but, given the situation, we have decided to postpone the 3rd meeting of our Working group that was planned for Fall 2020.
This has not been an easy decision. However, due to various countries’ travel restrictions that have been put in place in response to COVID-19, many partners might be unable to attend meetings in Fall 2020. It will therefore not be possible to deliver the inclusive and international knowledge-sharing conference that we are aiming for.
We are in continuous contact with Isobe-san and local organisers in Japan to find together a possible timeline for decisions about a date for the meeting. This decision will be communicated as swiftly as possible.
In the meantime, we are proceeding with the expectation that people interested in our topics will join the web meetings or online conferences we might decide to organize. A dedicated poll will be sent over the next weeks to receive your feedback.
We would like to thank all those involved in the canceled meeting and in setting up the new one, for the time and dedication you have committed to the conference preparation over the last months and I hope you all will be able to attend the 3rd and final meeting in 2021, with dates yet to be determined.
We are grateful to SCOR, who graciously extended our working group terms to the end of 2021.
Stefano, Kara, Nikolai and Erik
The first meeting of the SCOR-FLOTSAM Working Group was on 11 March 2018 at the Hilton Mission Bay in San Diego, California, USA, on the Sunday before the 6th International Marine Debris Conference.
The second meeting was 7-9 May 2019, in Utrecht, Netherlands. At this meeting, we scoped out where the knowledge gaps are on how floating marine debris is transported in our ocean, and how we can create and support a research programme to fill in these knowledge gaps.
The third and final meeting will be in 2021, location to be decided.
Other relevant meetings where members of the Working Group will present their work include: