PHARMARINE Project received funding under GRIEG funding scheme for Polish-Norwegian research projects

The increased use of pharmaceuticals, and consequently increased number of pharmaceuticals discarded to the environment in multiple European countries raises justifiable concerns regarding their presence and potential influence on maritime organisms. Pharmaceuticals used to treat humans are currently regarded as little-known pollutants, however they may cause a serious threat to coastal waters, close to the point sources, but also marine areas further away. Those compounds undergo biotic and abiotic degradation in maritime environment, however due to their physical and chemical properties they may stay in a water phase for a long time, making them susceptible to long distance transporting and affecting living organisms far away. In previous years, presence of pharmaceuticals was also discovered in European Arctic Waters. The Arctic, being a relatively pure and far ecosystem, is considerably susceptible for negative environmental changes, including pharmaceutical pollutions. That is why, the academic community and local authorities started paying more attention and undertaking multiple actions to create international research programs to evaluate the environmental risk connected with the presence of pharmaceuticals in that region.

PHARMARINE Project is in line with those actions. It accumulates new experimental  knowledge regarding the transport of pharmaceuticals by oceanic currents from continental Europe to polar areas of European Arctic. To achieve this goal, researchers plan to study potential directions and forms of pharmaceutical transport along the South-North profile from Baltic and North Seas through the waters of Norwegian Current and warm North Atlantic Current up to the fiords of Spitsbergen (Hornsund i Kongsfjorden). The accumulation of pharmaceuticals in Macrobenthic invertebrates leaving at the bottom of the fiords will also be the subject of the research, which will allow to assess the degree of pollution by such compounds in the Arctic fauna. The results of the research will provide new empirical information with regard to the biological impact of pharmaceuticals and threats they pose to maritime ecosystem of the Arctic.

The project is based on the existing research infrastructure and high competences and complementarity of research teams from Norway and Poland.

University of Gdańsk is the leader of the ‘ PHARMARINE -  Transport via ocean currents of human pharmaceutical products and their impact on marine biota in the European Arctic’ Project and dr hab. Adam Sokołowski, prof. UG from the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography is the Project Manager on the University side.

Total amount of funding exceeds  PLN 6.3 million, with over PLN 2.5 million going to the University of Gdańsk.

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