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A Voice for our Ocean

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Ocean Conservancy Plastic Pollution Experts Headed to South Korea for Seventh International Marine Debris Conference

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BUSAN, REPUBLIC OF KOREA – A delegation of ocean plastic pollution experts from NGO Ocean Conservancy will be leading or presenting at more than 15 events at the upcoming 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC), the world’s longest-running international conference dedicated to the issue of marine litter and plastic pollution. First held in Hawaii in 1984, the conference brings together government and private sector representatives, NGOs, academia, civil society, and other stakeholders to discuss the latest research, strengthen relationships, and catalyze action to address marine litter and plastic pollution.

This year, for the first time in its nearly forty-year history, the event will be held outside of the United States, in the coastal city of Busan, South Korea, from September 18-23. Lead organizers are the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea joined Ocean Conservancy’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the world’s only alliance solely dedicated to solving the problem of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (also known as “ghost gear”).

“We are thrilled to be participating in this incredible event and are grateful to the government of the Republic of Korea for their continued leadership on this important issue,” said Nicholas Mallos, who was recently named Ocean Conservancy’s Vice of President of Ocean Plastics after more than a decade shaping the organization’s marine debris portfolio. “We are already seeing unprecedented global action on plastic pollution with the beginnings of an international instrument earlier this year, and this event will keep the momentum going.”

In February 2022, the United Nations began negotiating an international legally binding instrument to address ocean plastic pollution. Ocean Conservancy has advocated to consider the inclusion of ghost gear-related measures in the agreement.

Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program is made up of nearly two dozen scientists, advocates and other experts dedicated to tackling the issue of ocean plastic pollution through initiatives like the International Coastal Cleanup, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Urban Ocean and more. Ocean Conservancy representatives will host or speak at more than 15 events at the conference and is working with conference organizers and partner Our Sea of East Asia Network (OSEAN) to host an official International Coastal Cleanup event at Gwangalli Beach on the final day of the conference. A separate media advisory with more information about the cleanup will also be distributed. The Ocean Conservancy team will also have a booth where press can connect with staff and conduct interviews.

Who: Ocean Conservancy’s experts will be in attendance and available for interviews, including:

  • Nicholas Mallos, Vice President of Ocean Plastics
  • Ingrid Giskes, Senior Director of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and International Government Relations
  • Allison Schutes, Director of the International Coastal Cleanup
  • Dr. Britta Baechler, Senior Manager of Ocean Plastics Research
  • Vien Tran, Vietnam Senior Manager


What: Ocean Conservancy will attend and host events at the 7th International Marine Debris Conference related to strategic partnerships, best practices, technology and methodology, ghost gear, the seafood industry, trash traps, and more. A full list of Ocean Conservancy events with locations and times can be found HERE.
When: September 18-23, 2022
Where: Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO), Busan, Republic of Korea
Contact: Jordana Lewis, Senior Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy: [email protected]; +1(301)873-4484

Roya Hegdahl, Communications Manager, Ocean Conservancy: [email protected]; +1(206)948-7874


About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Media Contact

Jordana Lewis


Media Contact

Roya Hegdahl




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