Pollution can adversely affect the health and abundance of marine biota, especially in densely-populated coastal areas. The downstream socio-economic consequences can be significant, with numerous examples of consumption advisories, commercial fishery closures, commercial trade interdictions and diminished aboriginal access to food resources around the North Pacific Ocean. The protection of ecosystem health and services requires an ability to detect emerging pollutant issues before serious adverse impacts arise. Regulations, policies and other management actions resulting from marine pollution research in the past have led to dramatic declines in environmental concentrations of a number of harmful pollutants, subsequently improving the health of marine biota.
This Working Group will provide leadership on emerging pollution issues to the PICES community, reporting through the MEQ committee. The WG will: (1) convene a series of timely Topics Sessions and Workshops, and coordinate special issues in international peer-reviewed journals, (2) ensure the continued availability of expertise on marine pollutants within PICES, (3) collaborate with other PICES Expert Groups in co-convening activities or compiling data, and (4) deliver guidance to the FUTURE Advisory Panels (notably AICE and SOFE). This Working Group will be of particular importance in addressing the question identified in the FUTURE Science Plan “How do human activities affect coastal ecosystems and how are societies affected by changes in these ecosystems?”
Session and Workshop Summaries
S3, Source, transport and fate of hydrocarbons in the marine environment
S8, Marine debris in the Ocean: Sources, transport, fate and effects of macro- and micro-plastics
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
PICES Scientific Report No. 46 (Report of the Study Group on Marine Pollutants)