The NS&T National Benthic Surveillance Project: Contaminants in Fish Tissues

by D. D. Turgeon, Coastal Monitoring and Bioeffects, Assessment Div, Rockville, United States,
B. W. Gottholm, Coastal Monitoring and Bioeffects, Assessment Div, Rockville, United States,
D. A. Wolfe, Coastal Monitoring and Bioeffects, Assessment Div, Rockville, United States,
A. Robertson, Coastal Monitoring and Bioeffects, Assessment Div, Rockville, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93

Abstract: The National Benthic Surveillance Project, part of NOAA's National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program, has been regularly measuring more than 70 contaminants in liver tissue of selected benthic fish species and in estuarine and coastal sediments since 1984. Contaminants monitored by the NS&T Program include 16 major and trace elements, 9 chlorinated pesticides and 6 isomers of DDT, DDD and DDE; 20 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners; 24 polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH); butyltins; and, at some sites, toxaphene. Concentrations of fluorescing PAH metabolites are measured in fish bile, and histopathology and other biochemical biomarkers of contaminant exposure are also determined in the liver tissue. Primary species of fish represented in the national NS&T monitoring database include: flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon), white croaker (Genyonemus lineatus), starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus), Atlantic croaker, (Micropogonias undulatus), spot (Leiostomas xanthurus), and winter flounder (Pleuronectes americanus). This paper examines correlations in concentrations of selected trace elements (Pb, Zn, Ag, Hg, Cd, and Cu) and organic chemical classes (DDTs, PCBs, and total chlordane) in these six fish species and in associated surficial sediments.

Subject Headings: Fish management | Sediment | Trace elements | Estuaries | Hydrocarbons

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