2.24 Contaminant Levels in Marine Organisms

Indicator 2.24 - Contaminant Levels in Marine Organisms

Iceland's marine ecosystem is unique and bountiful. Aluminum smelting operations require wastewater discharges into the Icelandic waterways that could indirectly affect aquatic fauna through changes in water chemistry.

 Mollusc

Results


In 2010, research was performed on contaminants in the fauna in the sea of Reydarfjordur. 16 PAH materials were defined and heavy metals in mussels, bristleworms (Polychaeta) and (leirpípur). The samples were taken from predefined sampling spots and the outcome of chemical analysis compared to the Marine Research Institute's baseline study from 2000. Click here to see the report (only available in Icelandic.

The results showed no significant increase of PAH or heavy metals, and the limits were everywhere under the minimum limit of Icelandic Act No. 265/2010 on the adoption of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.

The operation of Alcoa Fjardaál does not seem to have significant effects on the increase of PAH materials or heavy metals in the benthic fauna of Reydarfjördur.

It is planned to repeat the measurements in 2014.

Last updated 9 April 2012.

Metrics, Targets & Monitoring Protocol


Metrics: What is measured?

  1. Concentration of PAH (µg/g) and heavy metals (ppm) in molluscs at established survey points in Reydarfjordur Fjord near smelter. (Project effect: indirect).

Target

  1. Target to be based on baseline studies.

 Monitoring Protocol

  1. Grab samples of the benthic community (including molluscs) will be collected at designated sample locations and analyzed for concentrations of PAH-16 every five years.

Rationale for Indicator Selection


Iceland's marine ecosystem is unique and bountiful. Aluminum smelting operations require wastewater discharges into the Icelandic waterways that could indirectly affect aquatic fauna through changes in water chemistry.

East Iceland's economy is heavily dependent upon aquatic fauna (i.e., fishing) and adverse changes to the aquatic communities could be economically damaging to the region.