Accumulation, Metabolism, and Food-Chain Transfer of Chlorinated and Brominated Contaminants in Subadult White Whales (Delphinapterus leucas) and Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) From Svalbard, Norway

The concentrations and patterns of polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers were studied in white whales and narwhals from Svalbard, Norway. Their main food items were included in the study

H. Wolkers; C. Lydersen; K. M. Kovacs; I. Burkow; B. van Bavel

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • The concentrations and patterns of polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers were studied in white whales and narwhals from Svalbard, Norway. Their main food items were included in the study
  • A broad range of pollutants was found in relatively high concentrations
  • Compared with other marine mammals from the same area, contaminant levels are among the highest levels ever measured
  • Metabolic indices indicated that most compounds accumulate to the same degree in white whales and narwhals, but for some toxaphenes and chlordanes, narwhals might have a decreased metabolism and a higher accumulation
  • The three-times-higher contaminant levels in blubber of narwhals was further explained by substantially higher contaminant levels in their more benthic diet
  • Wolkers H, Van Bavel B, Derocher AE, Wiig O, Kovacs KM, Lydersen C, et al Congener-specific accumulation and food chain transfer of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in two Arctic food chains

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