Ecosystem overviews

Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

Pressure: Introduction of contaminating compounds

​​The ecoregion has no direct land-based sources of contaminants or litter but is influenced by inputs from outside its boundaries, from the atmosphere as well as from ships passing through or visiting the area. Studies indicate that levels of contaminants are below thresholds of concern in sediments and benthic organisms, although there is evidence that they become bio-magnified up the food chain. 

From the 1940s to the 1980s, low-level radioactive waste was dumped at several sites in the Oceanic Northeast Atlantic. Disposal sites were all at depths > 2000 m and mostly in the southeastern (outer Bay of Biscay) area. Disposal drums were expected to last between 10 and 40 years, before releasing radioactivity into the surrounding environment. Monitoring of radioactivity sites continued up to the year 2000, but has since ceased.​​​​

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Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

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