Validation of non-lethal sampling techniques to estimate organic chemical contaminant load in hardhead catfish

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Title: Validation of non-lethal sampling techniques to estimate organic chemical contaminant load in hardhead catfish
Author: Clarke, Janet
Abstract: Clarke, Janet. Master of Environmental Assessment. Under the direction of Dr. Tamara Pandolfo. Validation of non-lethal sampling techniques to estimate organic chemical contaminant load in hardhead catfish. Anthropogenic activity and climate change have contributed to ecological degradation of Florida’s bays and estuaries through population growth, urbanization, habitat alteration, and toxic spills. Organic chemical contaminants in these estuarine systems are a significant environmental concern because of their environmental persistence and lipophilicity, enabling uptake in fish and other aquatic wildlife. Chemicals of concern (COCs) include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorides (including DDT and its metabolites), and organobromides (BDEs, PBDEs). Chemical pollutant loads in surface waters can be estimated by measuring the presence of contaminants in fish tissue. Traditional sampling techniques require the use of muscle tissue and are lethal to individual specimens. Use of adipose fin clipping has been used by fishery scientists as a non-lethal tracking method in other teleost species but has not been widely studied as a technique for tissue sample collection. This study measured whether adipose fin clips are as effective as muscle tissue analysis in detecting the presence of organic chemicals in fish lipid tissue. Twenty-six hardhead catfish, Ariopsis felis, collected from Florida’s Indian River Lagoon were analyzed for the presence of the COCs in muscle fillet tissue and in adipose fins. In fish weighing more than 20 grams, the presence of COCs in muscle tissue and in adipose fin tissue were strongly correlated. However, this relationship was not always evident for smaller fish (less than 20 grams). Fin sample weight variation did not impact the effectiveness of chemical detection. Adipose fin clipping is a valuable non-lethal sampling technique that produces a consistent and accurate measure of the uptake of organic chemical pollutants.
Date: 2021-08-02
URI: https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.20/39077


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