Experts on marine pollution meet at CityU

Theresa Fox

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One of the most important environmental issues of our time—marine pollution—is being examined and discussed at the Third International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology.

Hosted by CityU, the conference provides a forum for leading scientists to meet and discuss latest developments in the pollution of our marine environment. More than 150 participants from around the world turned up for the conference, which runs from 10-14 June. The first and second conferences were held at CityU in 1995 and 1998.

Mrs Lily Yam, JP, Secretary for the Environment and Food, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Professor H K Chang, President of CityU, and Professor Rudolf Wu, Chair Professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry and Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee, officiated at the Opening Ceremony on 11 June.

Addressing the participants, Professor Wu said such exchanges of ideas about the state of the marine environment worked towards helping the earth "to lift itself from the cesspool of environmental pollution."

The conference focuses on five key areas: ecotoxicology (including water quality and toxicity); pollution monitoring (including field studies and novel chemical/biological/
ecological/statistical techniques); eutrophication and hypoxia; trace organics; and management of the marine environment, including risk assessment and environmental impact assessment, all of which have local and global significance.

The keynote speakers, all world-renowned pollution experts, are from the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, Norway, Bermuda and Hong Kong. In addition to the keynote lectures, two to three concurrent sessions of oral presentations are being held. Poster presentations are another feature of the conference, with posters displayed outside the various venues.

A Workshop on Sediment Quality Guidelines Development will be held on 14 June, in conjunction with the conference. The workshop has been convened to discuss whether the Global Investigations of Pollution in the Marine Environment (GIPME) Programme should provide further guidelines about the acceptability or otherwise of materials considered for disposal at sea by ships and aircraft. The workshop is sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Maritime Organization.

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