The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought enormous challenges to the global marine environment. Various responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to increased marine pollution. Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected marine pollution research? This work comprehensively reviewed marine pollution publications in the Web of Science database before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that the COVID-19 outbreak has influenced the marine pollution research by: (i) increasing the number of publications; (ii) reshaping different countries' roles in marine pollution research; (iii) altering the hotspots of marine pollution research. The ranking of countries with high productivity in the marine pollution research field changed, and developed economies are the dominant players both before and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in this field. Other high-productivity countries, with the exception of China, have higher international cooperation rates in marine pollution research than those before the pandemic. Microplastic pollution has been the biggest challenge of marine pollution and has been aexplored in greater depth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the mining results of marine pollution publications show the mitigation of plastic pollution in the marine environment remains the main content requires future research. Finally, this paper puts forward corresponding suggestions for the reference of researchers and practitioners to improve the global ability to respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic to the marine environment.