FML-TRACK : an operational service to support the reduction of Floating Marine Litter in the coastal area

Iberian-Biscay-Ireland regional seas
Water Quality
Marine Conservation & Policies

The FML-TRACK service provides an innovative solution to support the reduction of floating marine litter pollution in the coastal area. FML-TRACK uses an ensemble of new technologies to monitor and track marine litter origin and destination across the coastal ocean. It is intended for public administrations, cleaning companies, associations and scientists to support a better understanding of marine litter along a given coastline and related decision making.

(Click on the pin to show more details)

The FML-TRACK service combines video monitoring, satellite imagery and metocean observation and modelling to track floating marine litter and help reducing its presence in the coastal area :

  • In operational mode, the service offers a unique, online dashboard centralizing in a simple way all the information related with day-to-day marine litter management in a given region, including both real time monitoring and hotspot predictions for the next days.
  • In offline mode, FML-TRACK tools are used to investigate marine litter pollution events, identify major sources, quantify main local sources contribution and eventually guide related remediation actions.
  • From this ensemble of information, tailored decision-aid indicators are derived to optimize the management and the efficiency of marine litter management strategies.

More info about FML-TRACK technological components can be found here.

The FML-TRACK service is intended to be delivered for fee, to be operated as a tailored decision-support service for FML-related stakeholders.

FML-TRACK is a downstream service of Copernicus Marine Service using different products mentioned below. Copernicus Marine Service adds value to FML-TRACK service by providing reliable in situ information, satellite imagery and ocean current fields to feed the monitoring solutions and predictive models supporting the service. It improves the accuracy and efficiency of the service by providing high quality control and input data to the floating marine litter tracking technologies of FML-TRACK, more precisely :

Thus, the FML-TRACK service is largely empowered by the Copernicus Marine Service, taking benefit from both operational (near-real time, predictive) and hindcast products.

Follow this link for more information on the available Copernicus Marine services.

Surface current (left) and salinity (right) fields computed by the Iberian-Biscay-Irish ocean model in the study area (from : ATLANTIC-IBERIAN BISCAY IRISH- OCEAN PHYSICS ANALYSIS AND FORECAST)
Surface ocean current field obtained from the Open-boundary Modal Analysis (OMA) of High Frequency Radar data in the study area (from : GLOBAL OCEAN- IN-SITU NEAR REAL TIME OBSERVATIONS OF OCEAN SURFACE CURRENTS)
Total Suspended Matter fields obtained from Sentinel-3A (left) and Landsat-8 (right) satellite images in the study area (from : NORTH ATLANTIC REMOTE SENSING REFLECTANCES, ATTENUATION COEFFICIENT AT 490NM, AND INHERENT OPTICAL PROPERTIES FROM SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS)

The FML-TRACK demonstration is conducted in collaboration with key pilot end-users Communauté d’Agglomération Pays BasqueVille de Biarritz and Diputacion Foral de Gipuzkoa.


  • Camera installation at Oria rivermouth
  • Camera installation at Oria rivermouth
  • Camera installation at Adour rivermouth
  • The initial virtual barrier (in blue) and the second barrier (in red) of the algorithm. Detected FML are indicated in green
  • Floating marine litter identified by the algorithm
  • Floating marine litter
  • water surface waste accumulation
  • Accumulation front of debris called "windrow"
  • Identification of accumulation fronts on satellite imagery
  • Beached debris including litter
  • Mechanical collect of debris on the beach of Biarritz
  • Example of an surface ocean current field obtained from the OMA analysis of High Frequency Radar data (Eukalmet Agency/AZTI Tecnalia) in the southeastern Bay of Biscay
  • Example of an surface ocean current field
  • Density map computed from the model
  • Focus on highest densities or “hotspots”
  • Fishing vessel retrofitted for marine litter collection
  • Collection of floating marine litter
  • Collection of floating marine litter
  • Collection of marine litter with the haul
  • Collection of marine litter with the haul

FML-TRACK was generated using E.U. Copernicus Marine Service Information