Anthropogenic contaminants in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef

Daniele Cagnazzi, Maria Fossi, Guido Parra, Peter Harrison, Silvia Maltese, Daniele Coppola, Alice Soccodato, Michael Bent, Letizia Marsili

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    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present the first evidence of accumulation of organochlorine compounds (DDTs, PCBs, HCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Indo-Pacific humpback and Australian snubfin dolphins from the central and southern Great Barrier Reef. These dolphins are considered by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to be high priority species for management. Analyses of biopsy samples, collected from free ranging individuals, showed PAHs levels comparable to those reported from highly industrialized countries. DDTs and HCB were found at low levels, while in some individuals, PCBs were above thresholds over which immunosuppression and reproductive anomalies occur. These results highlight the need for ongoing monitoring of these and other contaminants, and their potential adverse effects on dolphins and other marine fauna. This is particularly important given the current strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area being undertaken by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)490-494
    Number of pages5
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Volume182
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

    Keywords

    • Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
    • Orcaella heinsohni
    • Persistent organochlorine pollutants
    • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
    • Sousa chinensis

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