Monitoring and on Trends and Effects of Substances in the Marine Environment 2019 meeting

4 December 2019

Dag Øystein Hjermann chaired a busy and productive meeting of OSPAR’s Working Group on Monitoring and on Trends and Effects of Substances in the Marine Environment (MIME). As usual MIME met in Copenhagen at the ICES headquarters, which enables us to work closely with the ICES experts who manage OSPAR’s contaminants and eutrophication data.

A key area of MIME’s work was expanding the annual contaminants assessment, including trialling criteria against which to assess contaminants, and separating environmental condition from human health criteria for the assessments. It was exciting to see the latest developments in the new OSPAR Contaminants App, which is an online tool for visualising the annual assessment. Important information on the methods and assessment criteria is also stored and made available through the App, making OSPAR processes transparent and auditable.

Next summer’s Ministerial Meeting where the new North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2020-2030 will be launched is rapidly approaching. So in parallel with all OSPAR’s expert groups and Committees, MIME refined the text of the draft hazardous substances objectives that will form part of the ‘Clean Seas’ section of the Strategy.

OSPAR’s next Quality Status Report (QSR) will be published in 2023 and it is already time to start making important decisions and planning the indicator and thematic assessments that will contribute to the QSR. A big ‘thank you’ to the ten volunteers who kindly agreed to be authors of the suite of assessments; we can’t do it without them.

Jaroslav Slobodnik of the NORMAN (Network of reference laboratories, research centres and related organisations for monitoring of emerging environmental substances) joined us for part of the week, to explore possible areas for OSPAR-NORMAN collaboration. We look forward to establishing links with NORMAN to share information and better protect the marine environment from new substances of concern.

And finally, we sadly had to say goodbye to Andrea Houben (the Netherlands), who has been a valuable member of MIME for several years.

Further information


OSPAR Contaminants App