UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters

Jepson, PD; Deaville, R; Barber, JL; Aguilar, A; Borrell, A; Murphy, S; Barry, J; ... Law, RJ; + view all (2016) PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 18573. 10.1038/srep18573. Green open access

[img] Text
Jepson et al 2016_cetacean PCBs_Sci Rep.pdf - Published version

Download (1MB)

Abstract

Organochlorine (OC) pesticides and the more persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have well-established dose-dependent toxicities to birds, fish and mammals in experimental studies, but the actual impact of OC pollutants on European marine top predators remains unknown. Here we show that several cetacean species have very high mean blubber PCB concentrations likely to cause population declines and suppress population recovery. In a large pan-European meta-analysis of stranded (n=929) or biopsied (n=152) cetaceans, three out of four species:- striped dolphins (SDs), bottlenose dolphins (BNDs) and killer whales (KWs) had mean PCB levels that markedly exceeded all known marine mammal PCB toxicity thresholds. Some locations (e.g. western Mediterranean Sea, south-west Iberian Peninsula) are global PCB “hotspots” for marine mammals. Blubber PCB concentrations initially declined following a mid-1980s EU ban, but have since stabilised in UK harbour porpoises and SDs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Some small or declining populations of BNDs and KWs in the NE Atlantic were associated with low recruitment, consistent with PCB-induced reproductive toxicity. Despite regulations and mitigation measures to reduce PCB pollution, their biomagnification in marine food webs continues to cause severe impacts among cetacean top predators in European seas.

Type: Article
Title: PCB pollution continues to impact populations of orcas and other dolphins in European waters
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep18573
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep18573
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Marine mammals, cetaceans, ecotoxicology, pathology, health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473078
Downloads since deposit
156Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item