Aquatic pollution

Are you a spill response specialist, insurer, loss adjuster, solicitor or other business that is having to deal with the ecological consequences of an aquatic pollution event?

Such incidents often result in significant damage to ecosystems and the deaths of large numbers of fish. Consequently, prosecutions are often brought by the Environment Agency and civil cases by angling clubs. In such circumstances it is often the case that much of the data collected by regulatory agencies is withheld from the polluter, their insurers and legal representatives. This makes it very difficult to assess the severity of the damage caused and the accuracy of claims made by regulatory agencies and other stakeholders.

Thomson’s aquatic team have a strong track record of providing their clients with robust assessments of ecological damage and accurate assessments of ecosystem recovery time. We are also able to accurately calculate the cost of fish restocking and habitat restoration work (often carried out by the Environment Agency) that may be charged to the polluter or their insurer.
The insight that we provide to our clients allows for informed engagement with regulatory agencies and for them to independently assess the severity and cost of the damage caused.

The services we provide in more detail are

Incident impact assessment

We accurately assess the impact of pollution events on freshwater ecosystems using a systematic approach that includes the interpretation of available chemical and biological data and through reviews of relevant scientific literature. Through an in-depth understanding of how pollutants affect fish, macroinvertebrate and macrophytes we are able to accurately gauge short, medium and long-term impacts.

Fish restocking assessments

The nature of spill events means it is often difficult to assess the numbers of fish mortalities. In an ideal situation robust mortality surveys would be carried out after the event and the data made available to all stakeholders. Although the robustness of mortality surveys carried out by regulators varies it is almost always the case that data is not made available to insurers or loss adjusters.

Thomson’s fisheries scientists are able to analyse National Fish Populations Database (NFPD) data in order to estimate the numbers of fish killed as a consequence of a spill event. These findings can then be used to calculate the numbers of juvenile fish required for restocking (using appropriate replacement ratios) and their cost.

Remediation planning and recovery monitoring

We work closely with businesses in formulating comprehensive remediation plans that are designed to restore the impacted waterbodies to their prior state in the shortest amount of time and enhance the ecosystem where possible. We also offer freshwater ecological surveys and water quality monitoring that is designed to assess the effectiveness of implemented remediation measures and provide evidence of ongoing ecological enhancement.

To discuss your requirements or to find out more about the aquatic pollution services that we offer, please contact us today!

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