Monitoring Requirements

Monitoring methodology

Monitoring of PCBs, dioxins and furans in the Contracting Parties of HELCOM is described on a general level in the HELCOM Monitoring Manual in the sub-programme Concentration of Contaminants.

Specific monitoring guidelines have previously been documented in the HELCOM COMBINE manual, and are currently under review with the aim of being updated and included in the HELCOM Monitoring Manual.


Current monitoring

The monitoring activities relevant to the indicator that are currently carried out by HELCOM Contracting Parties are described in the HELCOM Monitoring Manual

Sub-programme: monitoring concepts table for biota

The monitoring of temporal trends of PCBs is considered adequate in the Baltic Sea. There are no big gaps in the monitoring programme of PCBs. The monitoring of PCBs focuses on the seven classical "ICES 7" congeners: CB-28, CB-52, CB-101, CB-118, CB-138, CB-153 and CB-180. The time series stations use highly mobile sample species (herring, cod, common dab, eelpout, European sprat, European perch and flounder) which makes the network of time series stations as geographically representative for HELCOM sub-basins and coastal areas.

Monitoring of temporal trends of dioxin and furan is carried out by a few countries only.


Description of optimal monitoring

Monitoring stations for dioxins and furans seem to be lacking from the Ă…land Sea, Bay of Mecklenburg, Gulf of Riga, Kiel Bay and the Sound and increasing the spatial coverage of the monitoring program would allow for higher confidence evaluations from a scientific point of view. For temporal trend monitoring an annual sampling is required to detect trends more adequate than if sampling is only performed every second or third year. The present lack of monitoring stations and data for PCDD/Fs might also be a result of the high analytical costs which are contradicting the scientific demands.

Therefore, time series of dioxin and furan concentrations in fish are missing or too short to enable evaluation for several sub-basins in the Baltic Sea region.