CONTRAST (2024-2027)

Ifremer coordination

Type of project


 Project duration


A. Mauffret (CCEM)

Horizon Europe


CONTRAST will develop an  Integrated Assessment and effect-based monitoring Framework (IAF) to assess the impact of emerging contaminants (CEC) on the marine environment. The aim is for it to be applicable in the context of European policies (e.g. the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) or the Water Framework Directive (WFD)).  The IAF will use innovative and/or optimized approaches to detect the presence and degree of the effect of CECs in the marine environment.

CONTRAST will develop a chemical contaminant prioritization scheme to identify CECs posing a major threat to marine life and determine which CECs need to be measured in the environment. According to this scheme, CECs will be prioritized for testing during the project in controlled laboratory experiments, where effects on biological systems and marine biodiversity will be analyzed. A combination of in silico, in vitro and in vivo bioassays with omics will be used to determine the main mechanisms of toxicity of selected CECs. This will provide important information on how CECs can interact with marine organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations and indicate which biomarkers and/or bioassays should be used in the IAF to cover the range of toxicity mechanisms produced by CECs. Selected biomarkers (existing and innovative) will be optimized for inclusion in the IAF. A series of European-scale case studies in the Atlantic and Mediterranean will be implemented to test the IAF applicability and relevance from the coast to deep-sea. The interactions between climate change and  distribution, circulation, fate, bioavailability and toxicity of CECs on marine life will also be assessed.

The knowledge gained from laboratory and field studies will form the basis of the documents and guidance that CONTRAST will prepare on best practices for conducting an IAF on CECs in the marine environment.

Les partenaires

Steven Brooks NIVA : porteur du projet