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SYMBIOSES was created by linking four well tested, state-of-the-art numerical models and applying the latest results from laboratory exposure studies to assess the toxic effects of oil compounds on fish eggs and larvae. SYMBIOSES encompasses unique predictive capabilities because it is tuned with fisheries data collected annually since 1985 as part of Norway’s stock assessment monitoring program. Based on the simulation results for over 150 oil spills in the main spawning areas of the Northeast Arctic cod population in Lofoten-Vesterålen, the research team concluded that the diverse age distribution and health of the Barents Sea cod stock renders this population resilient to the combined losses from natural mortality, commercial fishing and the simulated oil spills. SYMBIOSES is currently being further developed to perform simulations for the simultaneous evaluation of oil spill impacts on multiple fish species: haddock, herring, capelin, saithe, and polar cod.

The primary development partners of SYMBIOSES are Akvaplan-niva (lead), Institute of Marine Research, SINTEF Ocean, and UiT-The Arctic University of Norway. Phase I (2011-2018) was financed by the Norwegian Research Council, Statoil, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, ENI Norway, Shell Norway, Total E&P Norway, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company and BP Exploration Operating Company Limited. Phase II (2019-2022) is financed by Equinor, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, DEA, OMV Norway, Lundin Norway, Var Energi and Aker BP.