|Long-term development in a Baltic fish community exposed to bleached pulp mill effluent|
Sandström, O.; Neuman, E. (2003). Long-term development in a Baltic fish community exposed to bleached pulp mill effluent. Aquat. Ecol. 37(3): 267-276
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Biomarkers; Community composition; Effluents; Growth rate; Pollution effects; Population dynamics; Recovery; Reproductive cycle; Sexual maturity; ANE, Baltic, Bothnia Gulf, Bothnian Bay [Marine Regions]; Marine
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Observations near a Swedish pulp mill at the Bothnian Sea during 1982-1992 revealed low fish abundance and a disturbed community structure. The presence of endocrine disrupting or toxic substances in effluent water was indicated by biomarker responses, impaired reproduction and stimulated growth in perch (Perca fluviatilis). In 1992 the bleaching process was altered and a secondary treatment system was installed, improving the quality and decreasing the amount of effluent. This paper presents the results of follow-up studies during 1995-1998 with the objective to analyse any recovery of the fish community due to changes in mill operations. Although abundance and diversity of the fish community did recover, an effect of enrichment, indicated by high catches of cyprinids, was still visible in the vicinity of the mill outlet. Sexual maturation was delayed, gonad development was retarded, average growth rate was faster, and the condition factor was higher in perch caught in the vicinity of the effluent outlet, than in perch captured elsewhere. It is concluded that substances inhibiting reproduction and causing growth disturbance were still present in the effluents in effective concentrations.