Marine Chemistry Working Group



MCWGMCWGTrueKoen ParmentierHAPISGkparmentier@naturalsciences.be20Marine Chemistry Working Group

The Marine Chemistry Working Group (MCWG) concentrates its work around the status and fate of pollutants (organic substances and trace metals) in marine ecosystems and chemical oceanography (e.g. nutrients and ocean acidification).

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Some other current areas of particular interest for MCWG include emerging substances of concern for the marine environment, passive sampling as a novel tool for monitoring, and chemical aspects of ocean acidification. A significant part of the group's efforts is linked to ICES advisory process, which includes answering to specific requests from regional sea conventions and providing technical advice in support of the EU Water Framework Directive (EU WFD) and EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (EU MSFD). The group has developed numerous guidelines for monitoring and also assessment tools in support of harmonized monitoring under OSPAR's Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme relating to their hazardous substances and eutrophication strategies.

During its early years MCWG played a key role in improving the quality and comparability of chemical substance measurements in the marine environment through intercalibration exercises and development of monitoring protocols for OSPAR and HELCOM. These intercalibrations were the genesis of the QUASIMEME programme, which is now a self-sustaining proficiency testing programme supporting global marine environmental monitoring activities. Indeed, quality assurance of marine chemical measurements continues to be a high priority for MCWG.

In relation to marine ecosystem pollutants and chemical oceanography, the group works closely with many other ICES expert groups such as WGMS, SGOA, and WGBEC as well as the ICES Data Centre.

MCWG has convened annually since its first meeting in 1979 in Lisbon and continues to be very active. Various publications are produced by the expert group under the ICES TIMES and CRR series.



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