APEM’s phytoplankton team has been awarded a marine contract with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and will analyse about 300 samples over the next six months. The phytoplankton team, who are all BEQUALM qualified, bring a wealth of experience and routinely carry out work on contracts of this size for government agencies.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has meanwhile awarded APEM its 2016 diatom contract, which will see our six-person team process and analyse up to 200 samples over a five month period. The analysts and processors are able to analyse any type of aquatic diatom sample and are all members of the national ring test scheme, which is a prerequisite for diatom work to be carried out for all UK government agencies.

In Wales, the freshwater macroinvertebrate team has won the contract to audit Natural Resources Wales (NRW) macroinvertebrate samples for 2016. This follows on from the successful 2015 audit.

The project assesses the compliance of NRW’s analysts to their set standards. Our ten-strong freshwater macroinvertebrate team is one of the most experienced in the UK, with over 120 years’ combined experience and knowledge of most habitats and species found in the UK. They analyse samples from sites nationwide and beyond.

  • Microscope in laboratory

Elsewhere, the Ballast Water Convention of the International Marine Organisation was ratified this month, putting into international law requirements for the treatment ballast water that ships used to aid stability. The convention requires that vessels over a certain size must treat their ballast water to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

Compliance is assessed by looking for viable planktonic individuals in ballast water samples. APEM’s marine zooplankton and phytoplankton teams have been busy conducting short-notice analysis of ballast water over the last two years at a UK port to assess compliance of vessels in anticipation of this new legislation.

Head of APEM’s laboratories, David Hall explained: “APEM’s capacity to produce consistently high quality biological data for samples derived from all aquatic habitats is what marks us out.

“This is credit to the large number of dedicated specialist biologists in our laboratories team.”

If you have any queries, please contact David Hall, head of marine and freshwater laboratories.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.