Organochlorine contaminants in fishes from coastal waters west of Amukta Pass, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



Organochlorines were examined in liver and stable isotopes in muscle of fishes from the western Aleutian Islands, Alaska, in relation to islands or locations affected by military occupation. Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), and rock greenling (Hexagrammos lagocephalus) were collected from nearshore waters at contemporary (decommissioned) and historical (World War II) military locations, as well as at reference locations. Total (Σ) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) dominated the suite of organochlorine groups (ΣDDTs, Σchlordane cyclodienes, Σother cyclodienes, and Σchlorinated benzenes and cyclohexanes) detected in fishes at all locations, followed by ΣDDTs and Σchlordanes; dichlorodiphenyldi-chloroethylene (p,p′DDE) composed 52 to 66% of ΣDDTs by species. Organochlorine concentrations were higher or similar in cod compared to halibut and lowest in greenling; they were among the highest for fishes in Arctic or near Arctic waters. Organochlorine group concentrations varied among species and locations, but ΣPCB concentrations in all species were consistently higher at military locations than at reference locations. Moreover, all organochlorine group concentrations were higher in halibut from military locations than those from reference locations. A wide range of molecular weight organochlorines was detected at all locations, which implied regional or long-range transport and deposition, as well as local point-source contamination. Furthermore, a preponderance of higher-chlorinated PCB congeners in fishes from contemporary military islands implied recent exposure. Concentrations in all organochlorine groups increased with δ15N enrichment in fishes, and analyses of residual variation provided further evidence of different sources of ΣPCBs and p,p′DDE among species and locations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Organochlorine contaminants in fishes from coastal waters west of Amukta Pass, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1897/08-498.1
Volume 28
Issue 8
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1643
Last page 1654
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Aleutian Islands, Amukta Pass
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