- UNEP/MAP/MED POL
- Geographical scale of the assessment:
- Regional, Mediterranean Sea
- Contributing countries:
- Contracting Parties by research studies
- Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) Core Theme:
- 1-Land and Sea Based Pollution
- Ecological Objective:
- EO9. Contaminants cause no significant impact on coastal and marine ecosystems and human health
- IMAP Common Indicator:
- CI18. Level of pollution effects of key contaminants where a cause and effect relationship has been established
- Indicator Assessment Factsheet Code:
GES Definition: Concentrations of contaminants are not giving rise to acute pollution events
- State: Contaminants effects below threshold;
- State: Decreasing trend in the operational releases of oil and other contaminants from coastal, maritime and off-shore activities.
In most Mediterranean countries, the coastal monitoring of a range of chemicals and biological effects parameters in different marine ecosystem compartments and organisms are undertaken in response to the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention (1975) and its Land-Based Sources (LBS) Protocol. A considerable amount of founding actions from the past decades are available through the pollution monitoring and assessment component of the UNEP/MAP MED POL Programme, including monitoring pilot programmes to monitor ecotoxicological effects of contaminants (UNEP/MAP MED POL, 1997a, 1997b; UNEP/RAMOGE, 1999).
The present assessment has been mainly constructed based on the current status of bibliographic studies and scientific documents published in the Mediterranean Sea area, as the biological effects datasets through the MED POL Database are not yet fully available at a regional scale. The full assessment of the Common Indicator 18 will be based on the integrated evaluation of the biomarkers selected for their monitoring in the Mediterranean Sea, namely, Acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE), Lysosomal membrane stability (LMS) and Micronuclei frequencies (MN) on first instance.
Results and Status, including trends
In the Mediterranean Sea, a number of different studies focusing in different marine species and organizational levels are being undertaken which should provide the basis for integrated assessments in marine pollution. However, a clear correlation related to sub lethal and chronic exposures of environmental trace concentrations of contaminants is difficult to achieve.
The ongoing research developments and controversy with regard biological effects and toxicological methods (ca. confounding factors) is one of the main reasons for the slow implementation of these techniques in marine pollution monitoring programs in the Mediterranean Sea, although as mentioned, some are proposed within the framework of the MED POL Programme.
- Biological effects monitoring tools still in a research phase for biomarker techniques (i.e. method uncertainty assessments and confounding factors evaluations) which limits the implementation of these tools in the long-term marine monitoring networks.
- Lysosomal Membrane Stability (LMS) as a method for general status screening, Αcetylcholinesterase (AChE) assay as a method for assessing neurotoxic effects and Micronucleus
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Benali, I., Boutiba, Z., et al. (2015). Integrated use of biomarkers and condition indices in mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) for monitoring pollution and development of biomarker index to assess the potential toxic of coastal sites. Mar. Poll. Bull., 95, 385-394.
Capó, X., Tejada, S. (2015). Oxidative status assessment of the endemic bivalve Pinna nobilisaffected by the oil spill from the sinking of the Don Pedro. Mar. Env. Res., 110, 19-24.
Campillo, J.A., Sevilla, A., et al. (2015). Metabolomic responses in caged clams, Ruditapesdecussatus, exposed to agricultural and urban inputs in a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (Mar Menor, SE Spain). Sci. Tot. Environ., 524-525, 136-147.
Cuevas, N., Zorita, I., Costa, P., Franco, J., Larreta, J. (2015). Development of histopathological indices in the digestive gland and gonad of mussels: integration with contamination levels and effects of confounding factors. AquaticToxicology, 162, 152-64.
Dailanis, S., Domouhtsidou, G.P., et al. (2003). Evaluation of neutral red retention assay,micronucleus test, acetylcholinesterase activityand a signal transduction molecule (cAMP) intissues of Mytilusgalloprovincialis (L.), inpollution monitoring. Mar. Env. Res. 56, 443-470.
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De los Ríos, A., Juanes, J.J., et al., (2012). Assessment of the effects of a marine urban outfall discharge on cagedmussels using chemical and biomarker analysis. Mar. Poll. Bull., 64, 563-573.
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