Project Activity 3: Large scale implementation of training and intercomparison programmes on monitoring methods and quality assurance adhering to the ISO 17025 standard

(as stated in the progress report # 1 January 2016 – 31 July 2016)

The overall aim of this PA is to further develop and implement the Training Programme, which has been outlined by EMBLAS-I and ensure further capacity building. In the phase II the training programme will be further fine-tuned to incorporate the lessons learned and also to respond to the needs of the countries to strengthen capacities of relevant laboratories. Special attention will be paid to Quality Assurance / Quality Control (QA/QC) and Data Quality Control (DQC) and harmonisation that will be closely linked with the capacity building planned under other work packages.

Progress of work and delivered results

In parallel with the preparation of the monitoring cruises the capacity building activities have been initiated. The Training Workshop on Biology, organized in Odessa on 23-25 February 2016, was dealing with descriptors employing methods for biological monitoring of marine ecosystems (collecting and processing samples of phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrophytes and zoobenthos). The Methodologies of phytoplankton/ zooplankton / macrophytobenthos / macrozoobenthos quantification as biological quality elements and application of  integrated approach for marine environment ecological quality assessment (calculation methods, quality assessment scales) were presented, as well as demonstration of plankton and benthos sampling techniques.

The workshop also discussed station-sites location and details of monitoring arrangements during EMBLAS NPMS and JOSS in Georgian, Russian and Ukrainian territorial waters, as well as the checklist of equipment required during the cruises. This training was combined with the planned harmonization workshop on biology, since the methods to be used during the cruises for were presented and experts trained. The organization of the event was led by one of the project partners Institute of Marine Biology.

Marine Litter training was organized in Istanbul on 13-14 April 2016, in close cooperation with EC Joint Research Centre and BSC Secretariat, where also experts from other three Black Sea Countries have participated – Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey (supported externally).

A training on analysis of organic micropollutants by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques was organized in July at UKRSCES in Odessa on 24-29 July 2016, with participation from all project countries, led by the project chemistry expert. A continuation of the training has been requested, to be organized in the laboratories of NEA in Georgia.

As planned, the project supported also training of individual experts in specialised laboratories. A training on extraction and analyses of large volume samples has been provided by JRC Ispra, with focus on use of specific equipment utilized during the cruises (two trainings on 25 April-6 May – before the cruise and on 13-24 June – after the cruise). As a part of the training water samples from 33 NPMS/JOSS stations were processed and prepared for analysis.

A special microbiology metagenomics sample preparation and analyses training is provided at the National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa”, Constanta, Romania. Project also supported participation of experts at the marine mammals necropsy workshop, organized by University of Liege, Belgium (6 to 8 July 2016).

SOPs including QA/QC information for sampling, storage and (if appropriate) on-board analyses methodology of physico-chemical and chemistry parameters were developed prior to the NPMS and JOSS surveys and tested in field conditions SOPs are attached as an Annex to the Draft Technical report from the NPMS/JOSS GE-UA.

A draft programme of the ichthyology training in Georgia (5-8 days) has been prepared by NEA and shared for discussion among the project partners. It is also planned to organize another biology (hydrobiology) training for Georgian experts, by IMB in Odessa – draft program available and shared with project partners for comments.

Planned activities until the end 2016

In the 2nd half of 2016 it is planned to revise the overall training program of the project and continue further with the capacity building activities, including trainings of individual experts in selected laboratories.

The training on biology (hydrobiology) is planned in Odessa on 5-9 September 2016, which will be lead by IMB. The ichthyology training is tentatively planned between in October 2016, led by NEA.

Overview on overall deliverables

  1. Recommendations on improvements of SOPs and QA/QC manuals
  2. Final Training Programme
  3. Trainings in selected laboratories/at selected sites for experts from all three countries organised, training materials prepared, evaluations conducted
  4. Chemistry I + II
  5. Biology
  6. Fish
  7. Harmonisation workshop (incl. evaluations); focus on chemistry and preparation of NPMS and JOSS; proposal of the BS regional scale classification for selected indicators
  8. Harmonisation workshop (incl. evaluations); focus on biology,preparation of NPMS and JOSS; proposal of the BS regional scale classification for selected indicators
  9. Harmonisation workshop evaluation of the proposed BS regional scale classification schemes for selected indicators
  10. BSC/EMBLAS II Workshop Marine Litter in the Black Sea: Development of Options and Recommendations

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