Abstract Title

Session S-10C: Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Issues in the Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest

Proposed Abstract Title

Uptake and depuration of PAHs in mussels following a diesel spill in Penn Cove, Washington

Keywords

Emerging Contaminants and Emergencies

Location

Room 606

Start Date

2-5-2014 1:30 PM

End Date

2-5-2014 3:00 PM

Description

Diesel spills are common in Northwest coastal waters but there is little information about the rate at which exposed shellfish might purge bioaccumulated hydrocarbons. The literature suggests a few weeks. We tested that hypothesis following a May 2012 discharge of diesel from a sunken fishing vessel located adjacent to a mussel farm in Penn Cove, Washington. Using an adaptive monitoring strategy, mussels were collected on four occasions following the spill and removal of the derelict vessel and analyzed for 43 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs were elevated 5 days into the spill but did not exceed seafood safety guidelines. The biological half-life of total PAH whole soft tissue concentrations was on the order of four to five months, a much longer depuration time than previously suspected. The reason for the slow depuration was not determined, but may due to slow exchange of cove water with clean water from Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound, a process that supports local larval retention and stresses the need to prevent fuel spills in shellfish growing areas.

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May 2nd, 1:30 PM May 2nd, 3:00 PM

Uptake and depuration of PAHs in mussels following a diesel spill in Penn Cove, Washington

Room 606

Diesel spills are common in Northwest coastal waters but there is little information about the rate at which exposed shellfish might purge bioaccumulated hydrocarbons. The literature suggests a few weeks. We tested that hypothesis following a May 2012 discharge of diesel from a sunken fishing vessel located adjacent to a mussel farm in Penn Cove, Washington. Using an adaptive monitoring strategy, mussels were collected on four occasions following the spill and removal of the derelict vessel and analyzed for 43 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs were elevated 5 days into the spill but did not exceed seafood safety guidelines. The biological half-life of total PAH whole soft tissue concentrations was on the order of four to five months, a much longer depuration time than previously suspected. The reason for the slow depuration was not determined, but may due to slow exchange of cove water with clean water from Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound, a process that supports local larval retention and stresses the need to prevent fuel spills in shellfish growing areas.