Investigating ‘contaminants of emerging concern’ on the Great Barrier Reef

Tropical Water Quality Hub scientists have identified critical knowledge gaps for a number of contaminants entering into the marine waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Torres Strait. These contaminants originate from a wide range of sources from the land and on the water, including urban, agricultural, industrial and shipping activities. Under Project 1.10, Dr Frederieke Kroon at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and collaborators have been reviewing sources, presence and potential effects of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) – contaminants found in the GBR and Torres Strait waters that we need to study further. Dr Kroon and her team focused on six broad categories of CECs: antifouling paints; coal dust; heavy/trace metals; marine debris; pharmaceuticals and personal care products; and hydrocarbons. In a recently published review in Science of the Total Environment, the project team recommends targeted monitoring and research on a short-list of potential high-risk contaminants to inform future management of these contaminants in the GBR Marine Park and Torres Strait.


Photo: Angelika Volz, Tangaroa Blue Foundation