The ICES Coordinated Monitoring Programme, 1977
This report presents the results of the fourth year of the Coordinated Monitoring Programme. The programme began in 1974 after the 1972 baseline survey of contaminant levels in fish and shellfish of the North Sea (results reported in Coop.Res.Rep., No.39 (1974)) showed that, although most of the area studied was only lightly contaminated, certain areas, particularly coastal zones and the Southern and German Bights, should be monitored annually. Thus, it was agreed that the results of the studies conducted on a national basis in the identified areas should be reported to ICES for inclusion into an annual Coordinated Monitoring Report. The results of the first year of the programme, 1974, were published in Coop. Res.Rep., No.58 (1977) and those from 1975 and 1976 were printed in Coop.Res.Rep., No.72 (1977).
In 1975 another baseline survey of the levels of contaminants in selected fish and shellfish was conducted (see Coop.Res.Rep., No.69 (1977)). The area of study covered a large portion of the Oslo Commission Area, including the North Sea, and certain portions of the Northwest Atlantic off the coasts of Greenland and Canada. The levels of contaminants were mainly studied in food fish, particularly cod, but several species of shellfish were also sampled. The results showed that contaminant levels were low in the open sea areas, but that levels in organisms from certain coastal regions in addition to those identified earlier should be monitored and the data submitted to ICES annually for inclusion in the Coordinated Monitoring Report.
The areas identified as requiring monitoring were the Irish Sea, the German Bight and Southern Bight of the North Sea; the estuaries of the Thames, Forth, Rhine , Schelde and Clyde; the Skagerrak, Kattegat and Oslofjord; and certain parts of the Gulf of St Lawrence and the New York Bight.
It was agreed that the species to be studied should be the same as those used in the baseline survey. Additionally, certain procedures for the preparation of samples prior to analysis and for reporting results were developed. The procedures used in 1977 are published in Coop.Res.Rep., No.76 (1978) (pp.36-38); these procedures have subsequently been updated (see Annex II, Coop.Res.Rep., No.84 (1979)).
To ensure control over the quality of the data, only results from laboratories which have participated in recent ICES intercalibration exercises are included in the Coordinated Monitoring Report. The results of the intercalibrations applicable to this report are found in Coop.Res. Rep., No.80 (1978).
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee
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