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Temporal trends in dioxins (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofurans) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus)
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2013 (English)In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, ISSN 0025-326X, E-ISSN 1879-3363, Vol. 73, no 1, 220-230 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (dl-PCBs) concentrations in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus) have been relatively stable since the mid to late 1990s. It is unclear why concentrations in Baltic herring are not following the observed decreases in other environmental matrices. Here, changes in long-term temporal trends in Baltic herring were examined. A number of biological variables were examined alongside the temporal trends to investigate whether fish biology e.g., growth (length, weight, age), lipid content, reproductive phase or fishing date may provide an explanation for the temporal trends observed. Significant (p < 0.05) decreasing trends were observed for PCDD/F toxic equivalents (TEQ(PCDD/F)) at three of the four sites (lipid weight (lw) and wet weight (ww), Swedish west coast lw only); however, other TEQ values e.g., TEQ(PCDD), TEQ(PCDF), TEQ(dl-PCB), TEQ(PCDD/F+dl-PCB) were inconsistent, decreasing at some sites but not others. In the most recent 10 years of data, fewer significant decreases were seen overall. Over the examined time period, significant decreases (Bothnian Bay, p < 0.01, southern Baltic Proper, p < 0.02) and increases (Swedish west coast, p < 0.02) in lipid content, growth dilution or lack thereof, and significant changes in age were observed. However herring were not randomly selected which biases this result. Continual efforts to decrease PCDD/F and dl-PCB emissions and to locate/reduce hotspots are necessary, while bearing in mind that herring biology may be impeding faster decreases of these chemicals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 73, no 1, 220-230 p.
Keyword [en]
Baltic herring, Baltic Sea, Dibenzofurans, Dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, Temporal trends
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94044DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.05.015ISI: 000323586900037OAI: diva2:651409


Available from: 2013-09-25 Created: 2013-09-24 Last updated: 2013-09-25Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, Ian T.
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Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)
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