Monitoring of the contamination of marine fish by hazardous substances
Why are marine organisms like fish and shellfish so suitable to detect hazardous substances in the marine environment?
In the seventies of the last century the seas were threatened to become the dump for waste containing hazardous substances. To prevent this, regional conventions for the protection of the marine environment became active in monitoring, taking measures and controlling the compliance to improve the status. For this purpose, water, sediment and marine biota are analysed on concentrations of hazardous substances. Biota are particularly suitable for measuring low concentrations of many non polar compounds due to the ability to accumulate these substances.
Our research cruises are taking place every year in late summer, when the variability of biological and influencing environmental conditions is low between years. Fish samples are taken on board of our own research vessels and are analysed later in land based labopratories on selected organic substances, metals and radionuclides. The resulting data are stored in national and international data centres, processed and assessed by expert groups of OSPAR, HELCOM and ICES, scientists of the Thünen-Institute are participating in. The assessments shall also indicate whether in relation to hazardous substances the good environmental status, as defined in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Dirctive (MSFD) has been reached or still not.
Procedures and methods we are using for sampling, analysis, calculatiopn and assessment are documented in guidelines, monitoring manuals and literature, and are revised when necessary to reflect the actul status of science and technique. The processed data are open accessible via internet by accepting general rules regarding copyrights
Will we suceed by integrating analysis of chemical, biological and fishery data to contribute to an integrated assessment of the environmental status of the seas and to detect more about correlations between reasons and effects?
Are we also including in our programme those substances, besides the well known "old" ones, which actually may have the greatest impact? Or need we to revise our lists of investigated substances and effects?
The results are published as anually reports, fact sheets or status reports, the latter summarising a certain period of years, and are availabe via the websites of the national and international bodies (see links below)
Permanent task 1.2001 - 12.2023
Project status: ongoing
Results 1 - 5 of 11
Results 1 - 5 of 11