Event Title

Sources, spatial variability and uptake of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Southern Resident killer whales

Presentation Abstract

Chemical contaminants, particularly Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), have been identified as one of three major threats to the health of Southern Resident killer shales (SRKWs)(Grant & Ross, 2002). The SRKW population has been listed as Endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, 2002 (SARA) and under the US Endangered Species Act. Recent monitoring has shown that the concentration of PCBs in SRKW tissue hasn’t significantly declined from 1996 to 2015 as would be expected for a chemical that was banned in the 1970’s (Guy, unpublished Master Thesis). This observation suggests that there continue to be inputs of PCBs into the marine environment that supports the SRKW food chain. This is important to address because PCBs have been linked to adverse health effects in marine mammals(Ross, Ellis, Ikonomou, Barrett-Lennard, & Addison, 2000). To reduce risks of PCBs to SRKWs, it is critical to identify the sources of PCBs to killer whales and to develop measures to reduce these sources. We will use GIS spatial analysis tools to estimate spatially averaged concentration of PCBs in sediments within killer whale habitat. A previously developed bioaccumulation model (Alava, Ross, & Gobas, 2016; Lachmuth et al., 2010) will be used to estimate the uptake of PCBs by male, female and juvenile SRKW. This spatially explicit approach has been used in recent bioaccumulation modeling studies of migratory species that inhabit areas with spatially varying contaminant concentrations (Kim et al., 2016; von Stackelberg, Williams, Clough, & Johnson, 2017). The research aims to support a recovery plan for the SRKW by (i) compiling information on sediment PCB concentrations and PCB sources in the Salish Sea and visually displaying the information on maps; and (ii) identifying PCB sources and recommending actions that may reduce the exposure of SRKWs to local sources of PCBs.

Session Title

Posters: Fate, Transport, & Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-65

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Sources, spatial variability and uptake of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Southern Resident killer whales

Chemical contaminants, particularly Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), have been identified as one of three major threats to the health of Southern Resident killer shales (SRKWs)(Grant & Ross, 2002). The SRKW population has been listed as Endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, 2002 (SARA) and under the US Endangered Species Act. Recent monitoring has shown that the concentration of PCBs in SRKW tissue hasn’t significantly declined from 1996 to 2015 as would be expected for a chemical that was banned in the 1970’s (Guy, unpublished Master Thesis). This observation suggests that there continue to be inputs of PCBs into the marine environment that supports the SRKW food chain. This is important to address because PCBs have been linked to adverse health effects in marine mammals(Ross, Ellis, Ikonomou, Barrett-Lennard, & Addison, 2000). To reduce risks of PCBs to SRKWs, it is critical to identify the sources of PCBs to killer whales and to develop measures to reduce these sources. We will use GIS spatial analysis tools to estimate spatially averaged concentration of PCBs in sediments within killer whale habitat. A previously developed bioaccumulation model (Alava, Ross, & Gobas, 2016; Lachmuth et al., 2010) will be used to estimate the uptake of PCBs by male, female and juvenile SRKW. This spatially explicit approach has been used in recent bioaccumulation modeling studies of migratory species that inhabit areas with spatially varying contaminant concentrations (Kim et al., 2016; von Stackelberg, Williams, Clough, & Johnson, 2017). The research aims to support a recovery plan for the SRKW by (i) compiling information on sediment PCB concentrations and PCB sources in the Salish Sea and visually displaying the information on maps; and (ii) identifying PCB sources and recommending actions that may reduce the exposure of SRKWs to local sources of PCBs.