Report of the ICES/OSPAR/HELCOM Steering Group on Quality Assurance of Biological Measurements (STGQAB)
The STGQAB met between the 13th and 15th February 2007 at ICES headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Eight members from 6 countries participated in the meeting. In addition Hanna Paulomäki, Finland, from the HELCOM Secretariat (13th to 14th of February) and Claus Hagebro, Denmark, from the ICES Secretariat, attended the meeting. Please see ANNEX 4 for a summary list of the proposed recommendations. On request from HELCOM the group reviewed the recently moved COMBINE guidelines for editorial changes. Hanna Paulomäki from the HELCOM Secretariat was present the first two meeting days to revise the documents on line. The meeting also reviewed proposals of technical revision of phytoplankton and zooplankton guidelines respectively, and recommended actions by responsible expert groups. The data validation guidelines were further developed and a common format for Standard Operating Procedures proposed. The meeting again requests that relevant working groups review the data validation guideline before being adopted to the COMBINE guidelines. Due to the revision of the data validation guideline, a reorganization of the subchapters of part B, and subsequently also of part C and D, in the COMBINE guidelines was proposed. It was noted that the recommendations for HELCOM MONAS had not been considered at its meeting 2006. Relevant recommendations from 2006 are therefore still provided also in this report (ANNEX 5). The work done in various expert groups and workshops was reviewed and appreciated. It was suggested to establish connection with the new Planning Group for Phytoplankton and Microbial Ecology group. Under the BSRP-project the group working with phytobenthos was recommended to extend its members to all HELCOM countries before their proposal of revision of COMBINE guidelines is adopted. An update of the JAMP guidelines is suggested in harmony with international standards and directives. Update is also recommended by linking JAMP guidelines with JAMP quality assurance documents. STGQAB also proposes to develop common guidelines for HELCOM and OSPAR in the future. The results of a questionnaire regarding implementation of quality assurance guidelines were compiled. It was concluded that the implementation of the guidelines is not yet fully accomplished. Further work to make laboratories aware of the guidelines is recommended. The members of STGQAB recommend that special quality assurance groups are maintained also in the future to secure the status of quality assurance and to promote confident environmental assessments from HELCOM and OSPAR.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee
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