Bioaccumulation of POPs and toxic elements in small cetaceans along European Atlantic coasts

Graham J. Pierce, Florence Caurant, Robin J. Law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Results on persistent organic and toxic element concentrations in tissues of small cetaceans from five northeast Atlantic European coastal regions in 2001-03 are summarised. PCB concentrations in blubber frequently exceeded the threshold at which effects on reproduction might be expected, notably in harbour porpoises from the southern North Sea (reflecting high concentrations in prey) and common dolphins from France. Concentrations were often higher in males than females, as expected since females transfer lipophilic pollutants to their offspring during pregnancy and lactation. Highest concentrations were recorded in blubber of bottlenose dolphins. The regional distributions of PBDE and HBCD concentrations differed from that of PCBs. Mercury concentrations
in liver were generally below the threshold for toxic effects. Cadmium levels never exceed the threshold for toxic effects and were higher in species feeding more on cephalopods. While strandings data may result in samples biased towards animals in a poor state of health, dangerously high concentrations of PCBs were nonetheless frequently recorded in small cetacean blubber during
2001-03.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ECS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Joint Workshop on Chemical Pollution and Marine Mammals
EditorsPeter G.H. Evans
Place of PublicationIsle of Anglesey
PublisherECS
Pages72-84
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
EventProceedings of the ECS/Ascobans/Accobams Joint Workshop: European Cetacean Society’s 25th Annual Conference - Cádiz, Spain
Duration: 20 Mar 201120 Mar 2011
http://www.crru.org.uk/cust_images/pdfs/tetley_etal_ECS2011.pdf

Publication series

NameECS Special Publication Series
PublisherEuropean Cetacean Society
Number55

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the ECS/Ascobans/Accobams Joint Workshop
CountrySpain
CityCádiz
Period20/03/1120/03/11
Internet address

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    Pierce, G. J., Caurant, F., & Law, R. J. (2013). Bioaccumulation of POPs and toxic elements in small cetaceans along European Atlantic coasts. In P. G. H. Evans (Ed.), Proceedings of the ECS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Joint Workshop on Chemical Pollution and Marine Mammals (pp. 72-84). (ECS Special Publication Series ; No. 55). ECS. http://www.ascobans.org/sites/default/files/publication/Pollution_Proceedings_final.pdf