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Energy, environment and sustainable development

EurOCEAN 2000
The European Conference on Marine Science and Ocean Technology

Hamburg, Germany
29 August - 2 September 2000

Summary of Session A - 14:30 - 18:30 , Wednesday 30th August 2000

Pollutants, nutrients and harmful algae in the sea: origin, economic implications and European policy.

This was a well attended session.

The issue of pollutants (pesticides), of over-fertilization by macro (nitrogen and phosphorus) and micro-nutrients (trace metals) and the effect on marine ecosystems was taken up by the speakers. Also, the effects of harmful algal blooms on the marine ecosystems and the coupling between the increase in the occurrence and toxicity of these blooms and anthropogenic influence was discussed.

Among the highlights of the session were the following:

  • With regard to organic micro-pollutants, the number of synthetic compounds is enormous (more than 20000) and among them we know that more that 2000 are pollutants. The problem facing us is that very few are studied, as there are no available tools to measure all of them. Further, this number is still increasing.
  • With regard to nutrients, several talks were about the problems (oxygen deficiency, metals accumulation) due to the discharge in closed bays of untreated sewage or only mechanically treated sewage.
  • A discussion was held on the ethics of fertilising the oceans with iron or other nutrients in order to decrease CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Some harmful algal blooms were shown to affect health in humans and others to disrupt marine ecosystems. For some of these blooms the economical impact on the tourism and aquaculture industry is tremendous.
  • Reference was made to EUROHAB, a recently created science plan to co-ordinate research on European marine HABs.


EurOCEAN 2000 | Joint Actions - Environment & Climate / MAST - Events | 31.08.2000

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