Contaminants in marine mammals from Greenland in relation to diet and human consumption

Updated 2018-08-23

Contaminant levels in whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals are measured in blubber, muscle and liver. In addition, diet is studied macroscopically through stomach analyzes as well as through DNA Barcoding analyzes of stomach content, fatty acid analysis in blubber and stable isotope analyses in muscle.

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
2016 - 2019
Data collection
2016 - 2018
Data processing
2017 - 2019
Data reporting
2018 - 2019

Contact information

Contact person
Anna M. Roos

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Climate Research Centre, 3900 Nuuk, Greenland 

Other project contacts

Malene Simone:

Frank Rigét:

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Heavy metals
Other metals/elements
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Marine mammals
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Humpback whale, minke whale, long finned pilot whale, killer whale, white beaked dolphin, harbor porpoise and harp seal are sampled. 

Tissues that are analyzed are blubber, muscle, liver and stomach content.


Regions studied
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Stations or areas where observations are made

Nuuk and Tasiilaq

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
If no (or only part of data are reported to a TDC), where and how are (other) data stored?

Data will be stored in excel spreadsheet at the Institute. Data will be available to AMAP if requested.

References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports

A technical report will be written when all results have been delivered. Two scientific publications are planned, and results will be presented at International Conference(s). A brochure has been printed and a meeting with local hunters in Tasiilaq took place September 2017 and is planned again in 2018.

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?
Specimen banking information

Blubber, muscle, liver and kidneys are sampled frozen ( -25 degrees) at the institute. Also, stomach parasites have been collected and stored in etanol and hard parts from stomach content is stored dry at room temperature.

Methods & Procedures

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

The chemical laboratories are involved with validation practices.  

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project

Sampling is carried out in collaboration with local hunters

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