Biological effect techniques, combined with analytical chemistry and ecology, provide powerful investigative tools for assessing the quality of the marine environment. Animal sentinels integrate the effects of all hazardous substances present and can discriminate chemical insult from other factors e.g. physical changes that may impact ecology. This project has 5 main aims:
1) Develop a road map for change (or fit for purpose) in offshore biological effect monitoring programme.
2) Develop and application of OSPAR integrated approach to establish fish and invertebrate biological effects methods for coastal and estuarine ecosystems:
3) Develop genomic technologies (e.g. gene microarrays) to improve investigative and operational monitoring capabilities.
4) Develop analytical quality control procedures in line with OSPAR requirements.
5) Contribute to international fora such as biological effects workshop as planned for by OSPAR WKIMON and others as appropriate.
Key Customer Purpose
This project will advance the UK contaminant related biological effects monitoring effort and, in collaboration with other CMAs within the UK (FRS, EA, SEPA, DOENI), provide vital knowledge and insight for developing a strategy for monitoring under the umbrella of the Clean and Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP). The project will provide a platform to develop, validate and, subsequently, inter-calibrate biological effects techniques, thereby fulfilling our international commitments within the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme (JAMP) and the Coordinated Environment Monitoring Programme (CEMP). Furthermore, with continued development, biological effects tools will have a key role to play in determining Good Environmental Status as required under the Marine Strategy Directive and for defining Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) under the WFD. This project will contribute to the development of a more integrated approach for contaminant-related effects monitoring and provide the opportunity to develop within the CSEMP a more fit for purpose biological effect UK monitoring strategy.