Description and Statement of Purpose:
The purpose of the proposed Study Group on Marine Pollutants (SG-MP) is to identify novel or promising approaches to monitoring pollutant trends over space and time, and to evaluate impacts on biota at the population level. The Study Group will establish a list of priority substances and pollutant indicators in PICES member countries using a series of case studies (e.g., microplastics in seawater, seabird egg monitoring for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) over time; risk-based ranking of complex pollutant mixtures in sediments). This will help identify those methods or approaches that would benefit from harmonization (e.g., characterization of heterogenousmicroplastic content in seawater or biota), and improve data delivery and scientific advice to managers and stakeholders.
While SG-MP will focus on impacts to biota, linkages will be established with those efforts that describe socio-economic impacts of pollution (e.g., fisheries closures, consumption guidelines, impacts on endangered species, special vulnerability of coastal and indigenous peoples). Input from regional and international bodies such as ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), GESAMP (Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection) and NOWPAP (Northwest Pacific Action Plan), will increase efficiencies and the scientific value of the SG-MP outcome.
The establishment of SG-MP is consistent with the FUTURE Science Plan component 3 (How do human activities affect coastal ecosystems and how are societies affected by changes in these ecosystems?), and contribute insight into the structure, function and resilience of ecosystems as in components 1 and 2. This will provide a critical evaluation of highly complex pollutant mixtures, clarify priority concerns in the North Pacific, and provide a platform to evaluate the relative importance of pollutants compared to other stressors.
Component 3: How do human activities affect coastal ecosystems and how are societies affected by changes in these ecosystems?
Session and Workshop Summaries
S3, Status, trends and effects of pollutants in coastal ecosystems: Implications for wildlife and humans
W7, Traditional seafoods of coastal aboriginal communities in the North Pacific: Insight into food, social and ceremonial uses at Snuneymux’w First Nation in Nanaimo, British Columbia
Winter 2012, Vol. 20, No. 1
PICES-2011 Workshop on “Trends in Marine Contaminants and their Effects in a Changing Ocean”