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Total and organic mercury in the Black Sea harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena relicta
Joiris, C.R.; Holsbeek, L.; Bolba, D.; Gascard, C.; Stanev, T.; Komakhidze, A.; Baumgartner, W.; Birkun, A. (2001). Total and organic mercury in the Black Sea harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena relicta. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 42(10): 905-911. dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0025-326X(01)00049-2
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231358 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Cetacea [WoRMS]; Phocoena phocoena (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Black Sea; cetaceans; harbour porpoise; Phocoena phocoena; total

Authors  Top 
  • Joiris, C.R., more
  • Holsbeek, L., more
  • Bolba, D., more
  • Gascard, C.
  • Stanev, T.
  • Komakhidze, A.
  • Baumgartner, W.
  • Birkun, A.

Abstract
    This paper reports on mercury (Hg) concentrations in different tissues (liver, muscle, kidney, blubber and brain) of harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena found dead in the Black Sea between 1997 and 1999, mainly bycaught in fishing nets (n = 79). Total Hg and organic Hg (MeHg) were determined. The main factor affecting Hg accumulation was, as expected, age, with MeHg concentration increasing with age. Accumulation of high concentrations of inorganic Hg in the liver was probably due to a slow demethylation process implying the formation of tiemannite (HgSe). In older adults, liver concentrations reached 35 µg g-1 dry weight ('ppm') total Hg and 3 µg g-1 dw MeHg. A geographical comparison with existing data from other regions showed a generally low Hg contamination of Black Sea porpoises, one order of magnitude lower than, e.g. in the North Sea.

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