Dutch Wadden society looks back at the ZOE container incident

Nieuws

Dutch Wadden society looks back at the ZOE container incident

Gepubliceerd op
13 maart 2020

Also the Dutch Wadden Sea Society commemorates the first anniversary of the disaster with the containervessel MSC ZOE. The firs issue of the 2020 volume of their journal WADDENmagazine is titled: ‘Cleaned up? The container-disaster 1 year after’. In one of the articles, journalist Marcus Werner interviews biologist Jan van Franeker from Wageningen Marine Research in Den Helder. The interview naturally looks at the long term fulmar studies in relation to the monitoring of plastic litter in the sea.

The container incident

For those that forgot: during the night of the 1st of January 2019, the container vessel MSC ZOE lost hundreds of containers just north of the Wadden Sea Islands. Massive quantities of both large and small litter beached on the islands and the Wadden Sea mainland coast.

A big pile of ZOE debris near one of the beach entrances on Schiermonnikoog
A big pile of ZOE debris near one of the beach entrances on Schiermonnikoog
The tideline was heavily littered with industrial plastic pellets lost from ZOE containers
The tideline was heavily littered with industrial plastic pellets lost from ZOE containers

ZOE results?

Research of fulmars found during 2019 in the area of the MSC ZOE incident is ongoing. Therefor, no results could be discussed in the interview.  But the fulmar study approach and use of its results in international marine policy is clearly explained.

A fulmar found on the beach of Schiermonnikoog, 2 weeks after the container incident
A fulmar found on the beach of Schiermonnikoog, 2 weeks after the container incident
Plastics found in one of the stomach contents on shown in the WADDENmagazine
Plastics found in one of the stomach contents on shown in the WADDENmagazine

Retirement

The interview also touches on personal issues. Jan is approaching the age of retirement. He will stay on the job until the end of 2020 to provide further training and guidance to his successor Susanne Kühn. After retirement, Jan hopes to remain involved in fulmar studies, but Susanne will have to manage the long term monitoring project.

After his retirement Jan hopes to have more time to go into the field surveying beaches
After his retirement Jan hopes to have more time to go into the field surveying beaches