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A clean water is imperative for the production of high quality food products and an absolutely essential element to ensure the commercial success of the Galician shellfish.

amphipods_bioassaysNowadays, the protection of the coastal marine environment must take into account the legislative framework created by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 2000/60/EC) and its transposition into Spanish law in modifying the Water Law (Law 62/2003 of 30 December, on fiscal, administrative and social), Water Planning Regulation (RD 907/2007), and subsequent Water Planning Instruction (Order ARM/2656/2008). While the more recent and specifically marine Directive is implemented (Directive 2008/56/EC, "Marine Strategy") and the resulting Spanish law on protection of the marine environment, the above standards (designed from a perspective of continental waters) are the starting point from which to establish coastal monitoring programs on the Spanish coast today.

The experience of the research group, leading interdisciplinary studies of integrated assessment of pollutions in the Galician waters, entitles us to respond to these new legislative demands using modern chemical and biological tools for the evaluation of sea water quality backed by international institutions with competence in marine environmental management (ICES, OSPAR).

The Ecotox Team offers the following services (Check Rates):

  • Advising the private productive sector related to the marine environment.
  • Comprehensive assessment of coastal marine pollution.
  • A priori Environmental Risk Assessment for human interventionsin coastal systems.
  • Ecotoxicological studies of environmental quality in areas of interest for shellfishing and aquaculture.
  • Evaluation of the sensitivity of marine invertebrate larvae to certain contaminants in coastal ecosystems.
  • Determination of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd in natural waters, chemical speciation and fraction of the total metal content available to organisms.
  • Participation in training courses related to the marine environment, at the university and outside the university, with the possibility of practical teaching.

Some of the techniques used in the research group are:

  • Measurement of indicator parameters in water and sediment quality: BOD, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, H 2 S, redox potential and organic content.
  • Determination and speciation of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in sea water.
  • Determination of Trace Metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) in biological matrices: Digestion of tissue in the presence of HNO3 and H2O2 followed by metal analysis by ICP-MS.
  • Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments and marine organisms.
  • Embryo-larval test in water and sediment elutriates.
  • Bioassays with phytoplankton: algal growth, production, photosynthetic efficiency.

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