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Report of the ICES/HELCOM Working Group on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB)

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posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The ICES/BSRP Sea-going Workshop on Fish Disease Monitoring in the Baltic Sea (WKFDM) was held 5–12 December 2005 on board the German RV ‘Walther Herwig III’. It was organised by the ICES Study Group on Baltic Ecosystem Health Issues in Support of BSRP (SGEH) and the ICES Working Group on Pathology and Diseases of Marine Organisms (WGPDM) and was co-chaired by T. Lang (Germany) and G. Rodjuk (Russia). The Workshop was attended by scientists from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden and it started and ended in Gdynia, Poland. The report provides the following elements: an overview of present activities in Baltic Sea countries related to fish diseases, background information (the status of fish disease monitoring in the marine environment on a national and international scale, methods for fish disease data handling and analysis, approaches for integrated chemical and biological effects monitoring), a description of the practical work carried out during the workshop and its results, a proposal for the construction of a Fish Health Index as an assessment tool, and methodological guidelines for fish disease monitoring in the Baltic Sea. Based on the results and the discussions, a number of recommendation were made, highlighting the importance of fish disease studies in the context of integrated ecosystem health monitoring and assessment, the need for improved quality assurance and for further activities (e.g. a workshop on diseases in coastal fish in the Baltic Sea and a workshop on ecosystem health of the Gulf of Finland). It is hoped that the workshop and related future activities will build the basis for the incorporation of coordinated and standardised fish disease studies into national marine monitoring and assessment programmes of the Baltic Sea countries and eventually into the HELCOM monitoring programme.

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