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Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

Sea Water Quality Criteria

  • Collection, transportation, acclimation and maintenance of marine organisms for toxicity bioassay experiments.
  • Toxicity bioassay experiments on marine organisms for metals(Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Se), organics (monocrotophos, chlorpyrifos) and hydrocarbons (Anthracene and Benzo-a-pyrene)
  • Derivation of toxicity values: Median lethal Concentration (LC50), Lowest Observed Effect Concentration (LOEC), No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) and Chronic values (CV).
  • Measurements of the metals and pesticide of the experimental samples using the analytical instruments like Gas Chromatography (GC) fitted with FPD and FID Detectors, Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer.
  • Histology: Histological observations in the tissue sections of the matine organisms after exposure to the sublethal concentrations of the selected metal/pesticide/hydrocarbons
  • Biochemistry: Biochemical enzyme activities by using Multimode Reader and Native PAGE (Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis).
  • Derivation of Sea Water Quality Criteria based on the Acute and Chronic toxicity values of marine organisms.


Ecological Risk Assessment

  • Monitoring of metals, PAHs, TPH in water and sediment samples of Ennore, Uppanar, and Vellar Estuaries
  • Monitoring of water quality parameters and nutrients from the samples of Ennore, Uppanar, and Vellar Estuaries
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the benthos from the sediment samples of selected estuarine transects.
  • Comprehensive sediment quality assessment through integrated approach by using sediment toxicity bioassay, measurement of contaminants and benthic biodiversity assessment.
  • Collection and optimization of monoculture of diatoms, copepods, Polychaete larvae and barnacles from mixed culture for toxicity bioassays.
  • Microcosm experiments on marine diatoms, copepods, and larvae of polychaete and barnacles for toxicity sediment extracts collected from Ennore, Uppanar, and Vellar Estuaries.
  • Derivation of environmental quality indices for the assessment of extent of damage due to metal/TPH/PAH pollutants.
  • Field based in situ mesocosm experiments on selected marine organisms at Ennore estuary for the risk assessment of metals of concern.


  • Developed seawater quality criteria for SW-III (Industrial cooling, Recreation – non-contact and Aesthetics – dissolved manganese) and SW-V (Navigation and Controlled Waste Disposal) for 7 heavy metals (Cu, Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, As, Cr) and pesticide (Monochrotophos).
  • Draft gazette notification has been issued by MoEF&CC based on the reports submitted by NCCR.


Prescribing numerical Sea Water Quality Criteria (SWQC) for priority toxic chemicals in the form of Standards as ‘Safe limits’ for protection, survival, and perpetuation of marine life for the benefit of all.


Implementation of MEERA- Programme is to ensure a regulatory action for control and abatement of toxic and hazardous chemicals into the coastal and marine environment for best use classes of seawater.

Ecological risk assessment is an scientific strategy for developing environmentally reliable quality standards for the sustainable management of coastal and marine environment .

Comprehensive risk assessment is to identify environmental risk from trace and emerging toxic chemicals for deriving environmental quality indices and standards through an integrated approach.

  • Savurirajan, M., Barath Kumar, S., P. Karthikeyan, Marigoudar, S.R., Sharma, K.V., Murthy, M.R (2022). Assessment of ecological quality status using macrobenthic faunal diversity as tools in anthropogenically disturbed Ennore estuary, Tamil Nadu, India. Regional Studies in Marine Science. In Press.
  • Vijayaraghavan, G., Neethu, K.V., Aneesh, B.P., Suresh, A., Saranya, K.S., Bijoy Nandan, S. and Sharma, K.V (2022). Evaluation of toxicological impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) microplastics on fish, Etroplus suratensis (Bloch, 1790), Cochin estuary, India. Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences, pp.1-10.
  • Raja, P., Karthikeyan, P., Marigoudar, S.R., Sharma, K.V. and Murthy, M.V.R (2022). Spatial distribution of total petroleum hydrocarbons in surface sediments of Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu, India. Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology4, pp.20-28.
  • Karthikeyan, P., Kannika, M.K., Marigoudar, S.R. and Sharma, K.V (2021). Rare occurrence and culture of heterotrichous ciliate, Folliculinopsis productaJournal of the Marine Biological Association of India63(2), p.76.
  • Karthikeyan, P., Raja, P., Kannika, M.K., Marigoudar, S.R. and Sharma, K.V  (2021). Fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis assay on copepod Tisbe furcata as a new rapid bioassay to assess marine sediment quality. Journal of Earth System Science130(3), pp.1-13. 
  • Neethu, K.V., Saranya, K.S., Krishna, N.G.A., Praved, P.H., Aneesh, B.P., Nandan, S.B. and Marigoudar, S.R (2021). Toxicity of copper on marine diatoms, Chaetoceros calcitrans and Nitzchia closterium from Cochin estuary, India. Ecotoxicology, pp.1-11. 
  • Karthikeyan, P., Marigoudar, S.R., Mohan, D., Sharma, K.V. and Murthy, M.R (2021). Prescribing sea water quality criteria for arsenic, cadmium and lead through species sensitivity distribution. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 208, p.111612. 
  • Don Xavier, N.D., Nandan, S.B., Jayachandran, P.R., Neethu, K.V., Mohan, D. and Marigoudar, S.R (2021). Eliciting heavy metal contamination on selected native organisms from Cochin estuary using contemporary biomarker approach. Journal of Earth System Science130(3), pp.1-13. 
  • Neethu, K.V., Saranya, K.S., Krishna, N.G.A., Praved, P.H., Aneesh, B.P., Nandan, S.B. and Marigoudar, S.R (2021). Toxicity of copper on marine diatoms, Chaetoceros calcitrans and Nitzchia closterium from Cochin estuary, India. Ecotoxicology30(5), pp.783-793.
  • Neethu, K.V., Nandan, S.B., Xavier, N.D.D., Jayachandran, P.R., Anu, P.R., Midhun, A.M., Mohan, D. and Marigoudar, S.R (2021). A multibiomarker approach to assess lead toxicity on the black clam, Villorita cyprinoides (Gray, 1825), from Cochin estuarine system (CES), southwest coast, India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research28(2), pp.1775-1788.
  • Sharma K.V, Barath Kumar S, Marigoudar S.R. (2021). A review of mesocosm experiments on heavy metals in marine environment and related issues of emerging concerns. Environmental Science and Pollution Research,28(2), 1-13.
  • Kunguma Kannika Maharajan, Panneerselvam Karthikeyan, Shambanagouda Rudragouda Marigoudar, K Venkatarama Sharma, Kasthuri Revathi (2020). Optimization of Culture Conditions for Growth of Marine Phytoplankton. Journal of Tropical Life Science.10(1), 79 – 87.
  • Karthikeyan, P., Marigoudar, S.R., Nagarjuna, A. and K.V.Sharma (2019). Toxicity assessment of cobalt and selenium on marine diatoms and copepods. Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, 1, pp.36-42.
  • Nagarjuna, A., Karthikeyan, P., Marigoudar, S.R. and K.V.Sharma (2019). Effect of sublethal gradient concentrations of nickel on postlarvae of Penaeus monodon, Perna viridis and Terapon jarbua: Enzyme activities and histopathological changes. Chemosphere, 237, p.124428.
  • Selvaraj, P., Murugesan, P., Punniyamoorthy, R., Parthasarathy, P. and Marigoudar, S.R., (2019). Assessment of the ecological health of Vellar and Ennore estuarine ecosystems using health indices. Indian Journal of Geo Marine Sciences, 48(10), pp.1580-1592.
  • Marigoudar, S. R., A. Nagarjuna, P. Karthikeyan, D. Mohan, and K. V. Sharma (2018). Comparative toxicity of chlorpyrifos: Sublethal effects on enzyme activities and histopathology of Mugil cephalus and Chanos chanos. Chemosphere, 211, p.89-101.
  • Marigoudar, S. R., A. Nagarjuna, P. Karthikeyan, D. Mohan, and K. V. Sharma (2018). Comparative toxicity of chlorpyrifos: Sublethal effects on enzyme activities and histopathology of Mugil cephalus and Chanos chanos. Chemosphere 211, 89-101.
  • Marigoudar, S.R., Mohan, D., Nagarjuna, A. and Karthikeyan, P  (2018). Biomarker and histopathological responses of Lates calcarifer on exposure to sub lethal concentrations of chlorpyrifos. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 148, pp.327-335
  • Nagarjuna, A., Karthikeyan, P., Mohan, D. and Marigoudar, S.R. (2018). Effect of selenium on Penaeus monodon and Perna viridis: Enzyme activities and histopathological responses. Chemosphere.
  • Panneerselvam, K., Marigoudar, S.R. and Dhandapani, M (2018). Toxicity of Nickel on the Selected Species of Marine Diatoms and Copepods. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 100(3), pp.331-337.

S.No Name Designation Specialization E-mail
1 Mr. K. Venkatarama Sharma Scientist F & Group Head Microbiology   venkat[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
2 Dr. S.R.Marigoudar Scientist D Marine biology - Ecotoxicology srmarigoudar[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
3 Dr. A. Nagarjuna Project Scientist-III Zoology – Histopathology and Biochemistry nagarjuna[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
4 Dr. P. Karthikeyan Project Scientist-II Marine biology – Plankton biology and toxicology karthi[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
5 Dr. P. Raja Project Scientist-I Coastal Aquaculture – Ornamental fishes, Plankton ecology raja[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
6 Mr. M. Savurirajan Project Scientist-I Marine biology- Benthic ecology & Sea grass ecosystem savurirajan[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
7 Dr. Barath Kumar Project Scientist-I Marine Biotechnology- Ecotoxicology barath[at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in
8 Ms. Jasmine Singha Project Scientist-I Marine biology – Ecotoxicology and food safety [at]nccr[dot]gov[dot]in


Sampling activity at Ennore coastal waters

Offshore water sampling-Crew of CRV Sagar Anveshika

Deployment of open sea mesocosm experiments

Mesocosm experiments to study the applicability of SWQ.


Estuarine mesocosm experiment deployed at Ennore

Copepod Oithona similis – laborotary culture

Marine ciliate, Folliculinopsis sps –  cultured

Marine diatom, Coscinodiscus centralis – jewels of the sea, cultured 


Ennore-mixing zone near ETS

Fisherman collecting Polychaete

Surface sediment samples of Ennore estuary

Diversity of Cerithidea-Ennore estuary


Swarming of Crabs-Ennore estuary

Ennore estuary Barmouth

Ennore estuary 

Seagull Bird at Ennore estuary


Acclimation of Green Mussel

Green Mussle collection on rocky shore

Analytical activities for Trace metals

Electrophoresis Gel Analysis


Laboratory activities for bio-chemical analysis

Algal culture experiments

Growth inhibition bioassay

Laboratory activity for standard preparation


 Flow through experiment for hydrocarbon

Laboratory Interaction

Animal ethical committee meeting

Customized flow through bioassay system


Sampling at Adyar estuary

National Dialogue on Marine Ecotoxicology  and Ecological Risk Assessment (ND-MEERA)

Brainstorming workshop on ‘Ecological Risk assessment for heavy metals