Integration of environmental monitoring with risk assessment – three new publications from IRIS Environment.
For several years, IRIS has been involved in the development of tools for environmental assessment of offshore discharges. These tools include risk models for predicting environmental consequences of discharges and spills (“DREAM”) as well as environmental effect monitoring through ‘biomarkers’ measured in exposed living organisms. Both have become “North Sea standards” that all operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf employ. A shortcoming has been a lack of integration of these prediction and monitoring tools. Being involved in the development of both has made IRIS well positioned to bridge this gap. via the Norwegian Research Council and industry funded projects, we have been able to construct our “biomarker bridges” in order to establish a more “integrated management system” for offshore discharges. The results were published in 2016 as a three-part series of articles that covered the generation of experimental data, the establishment of links between monitoring and risk parameters, and finally, how interpretation of biomonitoring data now can be carried out within the environmental risk management scheme that the oil industry uses in the North Sea. The method will be applied for the first time in the ‘Water Column Monitoring’ survey in 2017, which will be led by IRIS with Norwegian Institute of Water Research, Institute of Marine Research and SINTEF as partners.
Environmental impacts from Salmon lice chemical treatments
In 2016, the IRIS-led Fluclim project (“Effects of diflubenzuron on Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) at ambient and future climate conditions”) was completed and generated a great deal of interest from legislators and industry due to that the project showed that the deep-water shrimps are very sensitive to this kind of medicine feed. In the new project “Pest puls” IRIS is leading a consortium where the goal is to evaluate how short repeated pulses of other chemicals used for salmon lice treatment affect the deep-water shrimp Pandalus borealis. Combinations of different chemicals will also be evaluated to assess their impact because the aquaculture industry is treating the salmon with several different chemicals at the same time.
Pollution and climate change
The project “Combined Effects from Previous Years,” also included a PhD dissertation at IRIS Environment, which was subjected to a public defence in 2016. This work contributed considerably towards a better understanding of the combined effects which climate changes, ocean acidification and oil pollution may have on marine life in the sea.