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Akvaplan-niva AS

Year: 2019
Project manager: Perrine Geraudie
Project code: 1032018

Shipping traffic in Arctic is expected to increase as a result of the reduced ice cover, intensifying anthropogenic activities related to oil and gas exploration, fishing and tourism. Arctic expedition cruise and tourism activities have drastically increased in Tromsø during the last decade reaching 500 000 annual passengers in 2016. Intensification of marine traffic might increase the risk for oil contamination in marine environment, through unexpected oil spills and chronic fuel leakages from vessels. As the result of the intensification of human activities in the North, Tromsø population has increased by 25 % the last 15 years. This might undeniably contribute to the release of large amount of chemicals in the marine environment without adequate wastewater treatment. In addition to wastewater mixture, other legacy substances (e.g, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, siloxanes and heavy metals) have been previously reported locally exposing the marine ecosystem to a complex mixture of chemicals (Velvin et al., 2017). Developing monitoring programs is crucial to investigate impacts of human activities on marine population and to document the health of the ecosystem. The use of invertebrates as sentinel species has been largely demonstrated with bivalves constituting one of the most appropriate model for marine ecotoxicology. The blue mussels Mytilus edulis, and the Icelandic scallops, Chlamys islandica, have been validated as bioindicator for environmental pollution in Barent’s sea and Arctic ecosystems. This proposal aims to investigate the impacts of increased human activities in Tromsø, on the release of a cocktail of environmental contaminants and their impacts on marine ecosystem.

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