Distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls in marine species from French Frigate Shoals, North Pacific Ocean

X S Miao, C Swenson, L A Woodward, Q X Li
Science of the Total Environment 2000 July 20, 257 (1): 17-28
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were analyzed in: sediment; coral (Porites evermanni); fish (Stegastes fasciolatus, Neoniphon sammara, Acanthurus triostegus and Mulloidichthys vanicolensis); crab (Grapsus tenuicrustatus); lobster (Panulirus marginatus); and eel (Conger cinereus, Gymnothoraxflavimarginatus, G. undulatus and G. meleagris) samples collected from Tern Island and the corresponding reference samples from Disappearing Island. The two islands are part of French Frigate Shoals, a national wildlife refuge in the North Pacific Ocean. The dominant congeners 118, 138 and 153 represent 22-25, 32-34, 12-39, 37-46 and 30-55% of the sum of PCBs in the coral, sediment, fish, crab and eel, respectively. In general, high trophic species such as eels were found to highly bioaccumulate PCBs. The total average PCB concentrations were as high as 96 and 29 microg/g dry wt. in eels and damselfish, respectively, from Tern Island. The localized behavior and high bioaccumulation potential for PCBs suggest that damselfish are an excellent species for monitoring PCBs in small areas in the ocean. The high average concentrations of the sum of PCBs in different food chain levels suggest that pollution source(s) are around Tern Island and possibly around Disappearing Island. Aroclor 1254 and its analogs are suspected sources responsible for PCBs in the samples.

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