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Report of the Fourth ICES/OSPAR Workshop on Integrated Monitoring of Contaminants and their Effects in Coastal and Open Sea Areas (WKIMON IV)

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posted on 2023-01-19, 08:21 authored by ICESICES

The development of assessment criteria for biological effects techniques was initiated at WKIMON III. Progress over the past year was reviewed. The development of the Fish  Disease  Index  had  progressed  very  well;  some  changes  were  made  to  the  response  ranges  for  reproduction  in  eelpout  and  for  bioassays.  An  immediate requirement for further work related to the establishment of assessment criteria for EROD, and WKIMON recommended that an ad hoc workshop be held for 3 days in Oostende,  Belgium,  in  late  September/early  October  2008.  The  OSPAR  Background  Documents for some of the biological effects technique (fish disease, bile metabolites, EROD)  require  updating  because  the  present  ones  are  either  incomplete  or  contain  outdated information.
The methods used to establish the response ranges needed as assessment criteria of the biological effects techniques differ considerably and some were regarded as either inadequate  or  as  supported  by  too  few  data.  In  addition,  it  was  felt  that  general  guidelines for deriving assessment criteria should be developed to ensure there was some degree of consistency and harmony to the process. In particular, there is a need to define the boundaries between the three levels of “Background Response Range”, the “Elevated Response Range” and the “High Effect Range”; these may be regarded as the EAC equivalent boundaries for contaminants i.e. below, between and above. In this  respect  one  important  task  for  each  biological  effect  will  be  to  define  what  constitutes a “significant high level of response” or “harm” to the organism. This is a longer‐term  goal  and  should  be  continued  by  WKIMON  or  its  equivalent  in  the  future. In this respect a number of tasks were identified to address the above issues and to progress further development of assessment criteria.
The  compilation  of  Background  Documents  on  Biological  Effects  Techniques  for  Monitoring  was  provided  by  the  OSPAR  secretariat  for  the  WKIMON  IV  meeting.  The current status of each document was reviewed concurrently with the review on progress  with  the  development  of  assessment  criteria.  It  was  recommended  that  a  new  Background  Document  on  intersex  in  fish  is  needed  and  for  completeness  the compilation  of  Background  Documents  should  include  TBT‐induced  imposex  in  whelks.  The  compiled  Background  Document  was  thought  to  be  thorough  and complete.  Some  slight  updating  of  references  to  take  account  of  the  most  recent  publications  is  needed  but  not  urgent.  Specific  comment  was  given  on  each  of  the background documents:‐reproduction in eelpout, EROD, PAH bile metabolites, DNA adducts,  bioassays,  lysosomal  stability,  fish  disease  index  and  scope  for  growth.  It  was noted that a Technical Annex for oestrogenic effects was being progressed.
Current  methods  for  integrated  assessments  that  the  group  were  aware  of  were  discussed,  for  example  the  FullMonti,  REGNS  and  US  EPA  approaches.  After discussion  a  new  approach  was  suggested  along  the  lines  discussed  by  MON  for  integrating  groups  of  chemical  contaminants.  The  new  approach  used  different endpoints  of  biological  effects  in  fish,  mussels  and  gastropods  into  a  Generic  Assessment  Framework,  which  can  be  used  as  a  “Traffic  light”  for  environmental assessments. It was concluded that further refinement and development was required and  in  addition,  the  integration  of  the  generic  assessment  framework  with  contaminants needed further discussion and development.
A draft technical annex to support the integrated chemical‐biological effect approach was  considered.  This  included  preliminary  considerations  on  survey  and  statistical  design but further work was needed on this.  Information was collated for use as a basis for further development of a technical annex and this included: an overview of selected  methods  for  integrated  fish  monitoring;  overview  of  selected  methods  for  integrated  bivalve  monitoring;  overview  of  methods  and  species  for  integrated gastropod/organotin  monitoring;  environmental  parameters  for  inclusion  in  monitoring  programmes  (water);  environmental  parameters  for  inclusion  in monitoring  programmes  (sediment);  draft  integrated  guidelines  for  mussels:  and  sampling and analysis strategies for integrated fish and bivalve monitoring.
A  draft  technical  annex  on  recommended  packages  of  chemical  and  biological  methods for monitoring on a determinant basis was prepared and included packages on  metals,  PCBs,  polychlorinated  dibenzodioxins  and  furans,  PAH  and  alkylated  PAH, organotins, BFRs and PFOS.
A  practical  workshop  (ICON)  was  proposed  at  WKIMON  III  with  the  aim  of  demonstrating the core components of the WKIMON integrated chemical biological effect  methods  and  guidelines.  Much  of  the  programme  was  initially  being  funded  from  the  Norwegian  oil  industry  and  Research  Council  but  this  support  was  no longer  available.  As  a  result  a  revised  programme  was  suggested  with  a  reduced  number of stations and species than were included in the original proposal for ICON. In addition, the revised ICON should also look at existing good data sets, and select a data set for analysis as a case study that might be suitable for inclusion as box text in QSR2010.
The  status  of  WKIMON  (convened  as  a  workshop)  is  no  longer  tenable  within  the  OSPAR  or  ICES  system.  It  was  agreed  that  the  work  being  undertaken  by  the WKIMON group would take up to three years to complete. It was proposed that a new group be formed within the ICES/OSPAR setup, perhaps a joint Study Group, to complete  the  outstanding  work.  Tasks  for  the  group  were  identified  and  recommendation put forward for consideration by ICES/OSPAR.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • ACOM

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative

WKIMON; Workshops - ACOM


ICES Expert Group Reports

Meeting details

5–7 February 2008; Copenhagen, Denmark

Recommended citation

ICES. 2008. Report of the Fourth ICES/OSPAR Workshop on Integrated Monitoring of Contaminants and their Effects in Coastal and Open Sea Areas (WKIMON IV), 5–7 February 2008, ICES, Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2008/ACOM:49. 82 pp. https://doi.org/10.17895/ices.pub.19280408