Research needs for the assessment and monitoring of nutrients, chemicals and antimicrobials in the marine environment
Final report, November 2022
Many anthropogenic activities can affect water quality, including activities that release chemical contaminants into the environment. Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) are chemicals which have been flagged as potentially hazardous due to new toxicity information, but there is limited data about their environmental occurrence and biological effects. This uncertainty makes regulating CECs challenging for Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
This project engaged CEC stakeholders from academic research, government, water utilities, and non-government organisations to identify priority issues in Australia’s marine ecosystems. Stakeholders typically dealt with mixtures of several CECs, including antimicrobial compounds, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), microplastics, nutrients and heavy metals. Several key knowledge gaps were identified for CEC management in marine environment, along with suggested desktop, laboratory and field studies.