The objective of this project is to study long term temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in ringed seals from the Canadian arctic. The project rationale is that there are previous results for POPs and mercury in ringed seal tissues for many locations. Furthermore there may be regional differences in temporal trends due to geographical differences in POPs and mercury in marine waters and food webs within the Canadian arctic. It is relatively cost efficient to return to the same locations for additional samples using the same sampling and anlaysis protocols are were used in previous studies (see AMAP and Canadian Assessment Reports). Samples are being collected with the help of hunters and trappers organizations in each community. During 2000-01 samples are being collected at Resolute, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet. The study will also analyse samples collected recently (1998/99) from Pangnirtung, Arviat and Grise Fiord. Results will be compared with previous data which the Principal Investigator generated in the 1980's and early 1990's. Preliminary results will be available in mid-2001.
blubber, liver, kidney, jaws for aging, etc
Samples are stored in chest freezers (-25C) at National Water Research Institute and a database (for internal use only) has been created to track use and storage location
Muir, D.C.G., R.J. Norstrom and M. Simon. Organochlorine contaminants in arctic marine food chains: Accumulation of specific PCB and chlordane-related compounds. Environ. Sci. Technol. 22, 1071-1079, 1988. Muir, D., F. Riget, M. Cleemann, L. Kleivane, J. Skaare, H. Nakata, R. Dietz, T. Severinsen, and S. Tanabe. 2000. Circumpolar Trends of PCBs and Organochlorine Pesticides in the Arctic Marine Environment Inferred from Levels in Ringed Seals. Environ Sci Technol.34: 2431-2438. Muir, D., M. Kwan and J. Lampe. 1999. Spatial trends and pathways of POPs and Metals in fish, shellfish and marine mammals of Northern Labrador and Nunavik. NCP Synopsis Report on 1998-99. pp. 165-171.
Analyses of POPs are carried out using GC-ECD and GC-MS at the National Laboratory for Environmental Testing (www.cciw.ca). This is a ISO-9000 certified laboratory which participates in QUASIMEME as well as the Canadian NCP interlab QA program. Metals are analysed at the Kuujjuaqn Research Centre using AAS. This laboratory participates in the Canadian NCP interlab QA program.
Nothern Contaminants Program, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Collection of individual animals relies on the knowledge and experience of individual hunters in each community. Each hunter is provided with a kit which includes sample bags, instructions for key measurements e.g. length, blubber thickness. Additional comments from the hunters such as body condition/appearance are encouraged.