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 - 12.2020

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing


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  1. Wosniok W, Lang T (2009) Annex 7: Progress made in the modification of the Fish Disease Index (FDI) and the assessment of the ICES fish disease (update of OSPAR request 13/2008). In: Report of the Working Group on Pathology and Diseases of Marine Organisms. Copenhagen: ICES, pp 59-76
  2. Olsman H, Engwall M, Kammann U, Klempt M, Otte J, van Bavel B, Hollert H (2007) Relative differences in aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediatedresponse for eighteen polybrominated and mixed halogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furansin cell lines from four different species. Environ Toxicol Chem 26(11):2448-2454

Results 16 - 17 of 17

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