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Pollution fingerprints in eels as models for the chemical status of rivers
Belpaire, C.; Goemans, G.; Geeraerts, C.; Quataert, P.; Parmentier, K. (2008). Pollution fingerprints in eels as models for the chemical status of rivers. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 65(8): 1483-1491. dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsn112
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: Oxford. ISSN 1054-3139, more
Peer reviewed article

Also published as
  • Belpaire, C.; Goemans, G.; Geeraerts, C.; Quataert, P.; Parmentier, K. (2008). Pollution fingerprints in eels as models for the chemical status of rivers, in: Belpaire, C. (2008). Pollution in eel: a cause of their decline? = Verontreiniging in paling: een oorzaak van zijn achteruitgang?. INBO, M.2008.2: pp. 201-218, more
  • Belpaire, C.; Goemans, G.; Geeraerts, C.; Quataert, P.; Parmentier, K. (2007). Pollution fingerprints in eels as models for the chemical status of rivers, in: Belpaire, C. (2008). Zendingsverslag : ICES Symposium : Environmental indicators. Zendingsverslagen van het instituut voor natuur- en bosonderzoek, 2008(10): pp. 10-27, more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Bioindicators; Fingerprinting; Indicator species; Pollution; Rivers; Water pollution; Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Belgium, Flanders [gazetteer]; Marine
Author keywords
    bio-indicator; European eel; Flanders; pollution fingerprints; Water Framework Directive

Authors  Top 
  • Quataert, P., more
  • Parmentier, K., more

Abstract
    The 2006 EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) proposed the monitoring of a selection of priority substances in the aquatic phase, including lipophilic substances. However, there are strong arguments for measuring lipophilic substances in biota. Yellow eel is a good candidate because it is widespread, sedentary, and accumulates many lipophilic substances in its muscle tissue. Several authors have described the indicative value of measured concentrations, yet few studies have investigated to what extent the spectrum of contaminants present characterizes the local environmental pollution pressure. To evaluate the value of the pollution profile of an eel as a fingerprint of the chemical status of the local environment, two datasets were selected from the Flemish Eel Pollutant Network database. The pollution profiles in individual eels along a river ( even at distances,5 km) proved to be significantly different. Analysis of pooled contaminant data from multiple sites and sampling years within rivers allows characterization of river-specific chemical pressures. These results highlight the usefulness of eels as bio-indicators for monitoring pollution with lipophilic chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides, in rivers. As such, eels may be used effectively within the monitoring programme for a selection of priority substances referred to in the WFD.

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