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24. The meeting of Sub-Commission III was held on Monday, 28 May, with Mr R. Lloyd as Chairman. Dr J.S. Alabaster was coopted as Rapporteur in the absence of Dr. V. Dethlefsen.

25. The Chairman informed the Sub-Commission that progress had been made on all the activities agreed at the Twelfth Session of EIFAC, and he then outlined the achievements of the separate initiatives.

A. Report of the Working Party on Water Quality Criteria for European Freshwater Fish

26. In the absence of the Convenor, the Chairman introduced the report prepared by Dr D. Calamari (EIFAC/XIII/84/16)1. The Working Party had met in London on 26–27 January 1984 where draft reports on effects of nitrite and nickel were finalized. The draft summaries and tentative water quality criteria for these pollutants were circulated as document EIFAC/XIII/84/16 Sup. 1 and 2. In the discussion on the nitrite report, Dr H. Rosenthal questioned the relevance of the criteria to water quality requirements of aquaculture, where there could be large daily fluctuations in nitrite concentration; the Chairman welcomed his offer to draft a paragraph on this aspect, to be inserted into the report. It was recommended that the reports on effects of nitrite and of nickel on European fish should be published by EIFAC as Technical Papers, and that the possibility of publication in a scientific journal should be explored.

27. The translation and publication of existing Technical Papers in the Water Quality Criteria series into other languages was explored, and Member States were encouraged to undertake this. Dr J.S. Alabaster reported that the publishers of the book “Water Quality Criteria for Freshwater Fish” (Butterworths) had not decided on alternative possibilities of a third edition or the incorporation of new material into a second volume. The Chairman agreed that the updating of the previous reports was important, but this represented a considerable task and in practice none of the tentative water quality criteria required amendment in the light of recent research.

28. There was a strong possibility that a review of aluminium would be begun in the next intersessional period.

1 The list of documents submitted to the session is given in Appendix D

B. Report of the Working Party on Fish Farm Effluents

29. Dr J.S. Alabaster introduced the Report of the Working Party (see Appendix F) which had met in Aarhus on 22 May 1984. Some progress had been achieved, and the scope of the work had been extended to include problems on water quality arising from cage rearing of fish. No working party reports were yet available on the methodology of control of suspended solids from fish farms, or of the control of nitrogen and phosphorous in fish farm effluents but these were in progress.

30. The twelfth session of EIFAC had endorsed a proposal relating to a cooperative programme of research on the relationship between food composition and subsequent quality and quantity of waste output by fish. The Sub-Commission felt unable to support a specific research proposal in this field in the context of an application for research funds, but it was proposed to indicate the importance of this field of work. Accordingly, it was recommended that in view of the importance of controlling the discharge of contaminants in fish farm effluents, and especially of suspended solids, research programmes in this field should be given high priority by Member States, and that international cooperation between research organizations working on such programmes should be actively encouraged.

31. A discussion on the composition of the Working Party clarified the need to obtain appropriate expertise on an individual basis and the extent of the responsibilities of the Working Party to EIFAC. It was also agreed that information obtained by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) on cage culture in marine waters should be sent to the Convenor of the Working Party.

C. Report on the Working Party on Fish Toxicity Testing Procedures

32. The revised Technical Paper No. 24 had now been published. It was agreed that no work would be undertaken by the Working Party in the next intersessional period.

D. Report on Other Activities

33. Updating of EIFAC Technical Paper 16 could await further responses to the questionnaire circulated to Member States.

34. A report on accumulated toxicants in fish had been prepared recently by Dr V. Dethlefsen, but it was limited mainly to German experience. It was agreed that the report should be circulated to EIFAC National Correspondents with a request to provide further national information on this problem. A report would be presented to the fourteenth session of EIFAC.

E. Future Programme

35. It was agreed that there was already sufficient activity on the subject of acid rain and that an input by EIFAC was unnecessary. However, the proposed report on aluminium constitutes an important contribution to the study of part of the acid rain problem.

36. It had been agreed in the past that although pesticides were important potential hazards to fish, a review of the literature and proposal of tentative water quality criteria was a difficult task. As an alternative proposal, the Chairman suggested that the way in which the information on aquatic toxicity of pesticides was evaluated when new pesticides were submitted for registration in Member States should be examined, and a review of these procedures made in the context of FAO advice on pesticide registration schemes for developing countries. It was suggested that this proposal should be examined by the Secretariat and by appropriate departments in FAO.

37. It was agreed that the EIFAC Technical Paper No. 37 on mixtures of pollutants should be updated in the light of recent publications in this field.

38. It was agreed that a review on the causes of damage to marginal vegetation of lakes and rivers and on possible remedial action should be explored, but a final decision was delayed until the discussion on the Report of the Symposium, when the need for a review on the effect of deposition of solids on the bed of rivers and lakes on benthic organisms and fish populations would also be considered.

F. Election of Officers of Sub-Commission III

39. The existing Bureau consisting of:

R. Lloyd (UK), Chairman
D. Calamari (Italy), Vice-Chairman
V. Dethlefsen, (Federal Republic of Germany), Rapporteur, was re-elected

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