On December 11, 2014, in Neum, the program of marine litter monitoring was implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Barcelona Convention, which imply the categorization of litter by type and size of litter items. This is the first monitoring of its kind conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although the said methodology has been widely used in Mediterranean countries. In this way and with the help of DeFishGear Project, Bosnia and Herzegovina has, for the first time and regardless of its geographical position, stood side by side with European countries signatories of the Barcelona Convention and has thus become one of the major protagonists in solving the issue of marine litter on a regional level.
The subject of monitoring was marine micro and macro litter (floating litter, seabed and beach litter) with special emphasis on microplastics (plastic litter of size up to 5 mm) which, due to its imperceptible dimensions, has a devastating impact on living organisms in the sea. Speaking of the quantity of plastic litter, the results of monitoring conducted in Neum have showed that B&H does not lag behind other countries in the region (about 70% of collected litter), however, unlike other countries, most of the remaining collected litter is composed of metal (cans, parts of building materials, abandoned fishing gear, metal souvenirs, lighters, etc.). The aforesaid monitoring program also included the involvement of divers who collected marine litter at a depth of 20 m, at two different locations. The collected litter was later used to analyse and evaluate the overall density of marine litter on the seabed of the Neum aquatorium.
This is how B&H and its Neum aquatorium have, for the first time, become part of a regional story on the establishment of a unified methodology of conducting monitoring and establishment of a common database of marine litter for the Adriatic region, alongside six other Mediterranean countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Italy), jointly sailing towards a regional strategy for sustainable management of marine environment.