In the Baltic Sea Action Plan the urgent need to develop biological effects monitoring of hazardous substances and the assessment of ecosystem health has been clearly indicated. These goals will be tackled in the newly launched BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress: Tools for the Assessment of Ecosystem Health, 2009-2011), which is part of the Baltic Sea BONUS+ Programme funded jointly by national funding agencies and FP7 ERA-NET+ of the European Commission. The BEAST project consists of three workpackages (WP) with the following main tasks: WP1- Field studies and experiments in selected sub-regions of the Baltic Sea, WP2 - Application and validation of methods in monitoring and assessment in the Baltic Sea, and WP3 - Developing tools for ecosystem health assessment in the Baltic Sea. BEAST research activities are focused in the sub-regions of Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Gdansk and the Belt Sea, most of which are characterised by scarce data on biological effects of hazardous substances. The data acquired will be combined with previous data (e.g. national monitoring activities, case studies, EU BEEP project) to reach the goals of WP2 and WP3. The BEAST project involves 16 partner institutions from all nine Baltic Sea countries, being thereby the largest international effort in this field conducted in the area. In this presentation, the outline of a joint multidiciplinary research scheme for the assessment of ecosystem health of the Gulf of Finland is given as an example of the planned activities.
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15th International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms - PRiMO 15, 2009