Integrated chemical and biological monitoring


 (c) Thomas Lang

Integrated chemical and biological monitoring as demanded by international conventions

Measuring one single contaminant, doesn't answer the question if the fish is healthy. Are other contaminats present too? Are deleterious effects of the contaminants detectable or might the fish be ill? All these aspects have to be looked at together - in an integrated way.

Background and Objective

Integrated monitoring and the ecosysteme approach in environmental assesment are the core topics of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (EU MSFD). Integrated assessment stands for a joint view on single indicators e.g. contaminants and their effects in fish and fish diseases. The aim is to evaluate the "ecosysteme health" or the "good environmental status" to identify regions under pressure.


With our research vessel Walther Herwig III, we sample and investigate fish directly on board. Further on we collect samples for chemical and biological investigations in our research laboratories. We develop indicators, criteria and startegies for environmental assessment.

Data and Methods

The Thünen Institure of Fisheries Ecology is active in data collection leated to EU MSFD descriptor 8. These data comprise contaminants (organic contaminants, metabolites, heavy metals and radionuclides), as well as fish diseases and more biological effects.

The complete List of German MSFD indicators linked to the contribution of the Thünen Institute can be found here.

Our monitoring results were collected in a Thünen database and were also made available in national and internationale databeses for an European environmental assessment as demanded by EU MSFD.

Preliminary Results

The results are present in numerous scientific publications as well as in international reports.


Involved Thünen-Partners


Permanent task 1.2001 - 12.2023

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


Results 1 - 5 of 17

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  1. Nogueira P, Hiller M, Aust M-O (2019) Monte Carlo simulation of dose coefficients for a fish eye lens model exposed to monoenergetic electrons. J Environ Radioact 199-200:7-15, DOI:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.12.021
  2. Vethaak AD, Davies IM, Thain JE, Gubbins MJ, Martinez-Gomez C, Robinson CD, Moffat CF, Burgeot T, Maes T, Wosniok W, Giltrap M, Lang T, Hylland K (2017) Integrated indicator framework and methodology for monitoring and assessment of hazardous substances and their effects in the marine environment. Mar Environ Res 124:11-20, DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2015.09.010
  3. Andersen JH, Murray C, Larsen MM, Green N, Hogasen T, Dahlgren E, Garnaga-Budré G, Gustavson K, Haarich M, Kallenbach EM, Mannio J, Strand J, KorpinenS (2016) Development and testing of a prototype tool for integrated assessment of chemical status in marine environments. Environ Monit Assessm 188:115, DOI:10.1007/s10661-016-5121-x
  4. Karl H, Kammann U, Aust M-O, Manthey-Karl M, Lüth Anja, Kanisch G (2016) Large scale distribution of dioxins, PCBs, heavy metals, PAHmetabolites and radionuclides in cod (Gadus morhua) from the North Atlantic and its adjacent seas. Chemosphere 149:294-303, DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.01.052
  5. Schubert S, Keddig N, Gerwinski W, Neukirchen J, Kammann U, Haarich M, Hanel R, Theobald N (2016) Persistent organic pollutants in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus) - an aspect of gender. Environ Monit Assessm 188:388, DOI:10.1007/s10661-016-5363-7

Results 1 - 5 of 17

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