Newly funded project “UNIFIeD” will address how small Nordic countries and remote regions use eDNA for marine research and monitoring
In recent years, there has been a steady increase in using environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for marine research in the Nordic region.
While eDNA has great potential as a tool for managing marine resources, the lack of “gold standard” methods for how to handle samples and analyze data hampers collaboration and comparison of results.
For smaller communities and remote areas, there has been the added challenge of lacking relevant national scientific and political schemes in marine monitoring programs, thus increasing the inconsistent nature of eDNA application.
Led by Fiskaaling researcher Ása Jacobsen, “Unifying Nordic Initiatives and Fostering Involvement on eDNA” (UNIFIeD) will bring together researchers from eight institutions in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway to gather regional data and compile a status report on both fundamental methodology issues and well as societal and policy issues related to eDNA projects.
The project will conclude with a virtual panel meeting for all stakeholders in order to address the key findings of the status report and plan cooperation toward harmonizing and implementing eDNA methods in Nordic marine monitoring.
All the Nordic regions represented have large coastlines and fjord systems bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and would benefit from building a consensus on eDNA work within the region. Furthermore, since the areas covered by the UNIFIeD consortium are of global importance with respect to climate change and geopolitics, consensus building on eDNA-based marine resource management will be critical to meeting the Global Goals For Sustainable Development.
The one-year UNIFIeD project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers Working Group for Ocean and Coastal Areas.
- Faroe Islands: Fiskaaling, Havstovan, University of the Faroe Islands
- Greenland: Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
- Iceland: Matís, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI), University of Iceland
- Norway: Arctic University of Norway
Contact: Ása Jacobsen, PhD, Department of Biotechnology, Fiskaaling