On the one hand the coastal areas of the North Sea hold important breeding populations of marine
birds but on the other hand these areas are also under pressure from pollution with environmental
chemicals. Due to biomagnification effects through the food chain, the bird egg is an ideal matrix
to get a consistent and reliable picture of the pollutant level of the marine environment over time
With this report, we are pleased to give, for the first time, a North-Sea-wide overview
about the spatial patterns of mercury and organochlorine pollution in coastal bird eggs, presenting
data from Oystercatcher, Common Tern and Arctic Tern in the period 2008-2010. We are able to
show how the recently defined Ecological Quality Objectives (EcoQOs) for these substances in
coastal bird eggs have been fulfilled in the different parts of the North Sea. This report aims to
provide input for the further development of EcoQOs in the North Sea area and for their potential
role in the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Directive.
We would like to thank all those who contributed to the report by coordinating and
organizing the field sampling, by participating in workshops and providing funding for the
project. A large part of the work was carried out in the framework of the long established
Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP) of the Trilateral Wadden Sea
Cooperation which provided resources and data for the Wadden Sea sites. A cooperation with
institutes in Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the UK made it possible to extend the monitoring of
pollutants from the Wadden Sea to the entire North Sea. This was achieved thanks to the
enormous commitment of many colleagues.
We hope to be able to continue this fruitful cooperation in the future with the aim to
further support the protection of the North Sea ecosystem with integrated approaches.
2011. , 62 p.