Hazardous Substances and Eutrophication 2021

8 April 2021

Philip Axe (Sweden) excellently chaired the March 2021 OSPAR’s Hazardous Substances and Eutrophication Committee meeting, which was held by videoconference.

The CONNECT[1] project in association with NORMAN[2] network continues to investigate what hazardous substances are actually found in organisms in the marine environment, analysing samples provided by several Contracting Parties. The results will inform HASEC’s revision of the OSPAR Lists of Chemicals for Priority Action (LCPA) and Substances of Possible Concern (LSPC). HASEC developed a roadmap finalising the revision of the Lists.

Maude Casier of the European Commission’s DG ENV gave an interesting presentation of the European Green Deal, focusing on the strategies and action plans of particular relevance to HASEC concerning water and specific targets in the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, such as reduction in chemical pesticides, reduction in nutrient losses and use of fertilisers. HASEC delegates welcomed the opportunity to ask many questions.

HASEC devoted a large part of the meeting to reviewing its Recommendations and Decisions and some of the discussions were of a highly technical nature. In consequence, HASEC decided to establish a Group on Measures and Recommendations (ICG-MaRE), which will facilitate HASEC with developing and implementing measures, as well as coordinate measures with external bodies, in order to deliver the new strategy and through this, the objectives of the OSPAR Convention.

Work continues apace with developing HASEC’s suite of assessments that will contribute to OSPAR’s Quality Status Report 2023. Several dedicated Task Groups will be responsible for developing the assessments through intersessional work.

Jos Schilder, the Coordinator of the NEA-PANACEA[3] project (the Netherlands) presented the OSPAR project funded by the European Commission’s DG ENV call for MSFD projects. The ambitious project will have a strong focus on biodiversity assessments (pelagic habitats, benthic habitats, food webs and marine birds) and coherence between state (biodiversity) and pressure (eutrophication) indicators and assessments. HASEC delegates were very supportive, and we look forward to receiving the outputs of the work.

This was Jo Foden’s (HASEC Deputy Secretary of OSPAR) last meeting. Jo was sad to be leaving and HASEC thanked her for 7 dedicated years, wishing her all the best for the future.

Hazardous Substances and Eutrophication 2021
Hazardous Substances and Eutrophication 2021

[1] CONtaminants of Emerging Concern and Threat in the marine environment (CONNECT)

[2] Network of reference laboratories, research centres and related organisations for monitoring of emerging environmental substances. https://www.norman-network.net/

[3]North-East Atlantic project on biodiversity and eutrophication assessment integration and creation of effective measures