Presentation Abstract

The Puget Sound has been inundated with toxic contaminants for decades. As a highly urbanized body of water, contaminants are easily brought into the ecosystem through a variety of methods including runoff, air transport, industrial and residential use. The Seattle Aquarium is located centrally within downtown Seattle, and utilizes sand filtered Puget Sound seawater for use in the sea otter exhibit, and sand and carbon filtered ozonated freshwater for the river otter exhibit. This study was a trial in using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to measure four chemicals in captive sea otter and river otter feces, a variety of diet items, sediment and water. Four chemicals were chosen for testing and included polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a flame retardant used in furniture and electronics, many forms currently banned in WA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, an industrial chemical banned in 1979 but persists in the environment to this day), glyphosate (Round Up, a common household herbicide) and pyrethroids (a common insecticide). Diet items include restaurant quality fish, clams and mussels sourced from around the world. Each of the samples were mixed, dried, methanol extracted and run on each ELISA test. Preliminary results show that river otter fecal samples have slightly higher values than sea otters, across the four metrics. Of the diet samples, capelin have higher PCB values (average 408 ppb), surf clams have higher pyrethroid values (average 2,815 ppb), and mussels have higher glyphosate (12 ppb) and PBDE values (288 ppb). Next steps include validation with using GC/MS. Ultimately, the Seattle Aquarium will use this data for animal healthcare, but also to inform the public about contaminants in Puget Sound and the hazards to wildlife.

Session Title

Contaminants in the Salish Sea: Effects of Aquaculture Pharmaceuticals on Invertebrates and Contaminants in Aquatic Birds and Mammals

Keywords

Contaminants, Sea otter, River otter, Toxicants, Non-invasive

Conference Track

SSE3: Fate, Transport, and Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE3-635

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

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

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Apr 5th, 2:30 PM Apr 5th, 2:45 PM

Are otters toxic? A trial in using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to measure contaminants in sea and river otter diet and feces

The Puget Sound has been inundated with toxic contaminants for decades. As a highly urbanized body of water, contaminants are easily brought into the ecosystem through a variety of methods including runoff, air transport, industrial and residential use. The Seattle Aquarium is located centrally within downtown Seattle, and utilizes sand filtered Puget Sound seawater for use in the sea otter exhibit, and sand and carbon filtered ozonated freshwater for the river otter exhibit. This study was a trial in using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to measure four chemicals in captive sea otter and river otter feces, a variety of diet items, sediment and water. Four chemicals were chosen for testing and included polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a flame retardant used in furniture and electronics, many forms currently banned in WA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, an industrial chemical banned in 1979 but persists in the environment to this day), glyphosate (Round Up, a common household herbicide) and pyrethroids (a common insecticide). Diet items include restaurant quality fish, clams and mussels sourced from around the world. Each of the samples were mixed, dried, methanol extracted and run on each ELISA test. Preliminary results show that river otter fecal samples have slightly higher values than sea otters, across the four metrics. Of the diet samples, capelin have higher PCB values (average 408 ppb), surf clams have higher pyrethroid values (average 2,815 ppb), and mussels have higher glyphosate (12 ppb) and PBDE values (288 ppb). Next steps include validation with using GC/MS. Ultimately, the Seattle Aquarium will use this data for animal healthcare, but also to inform the public about contaminants in Puget Sound and the hazards to wildlife.