Organochlorine contaminants and maternal offloading in the lecithotrophic Pacific angel shark
Published online on 15. May 2015
Organochlorine contaminants and maternal offloading in the lecithotrophic Pacific angel shark (Squatina californica) collected from southern California
Kady Lyons, Christopher G. Lowe
Pacific angel sharks (Squatina californica) are a benthic elasmobranch that occupy intermediate trophic level positions in coastal food webs. Angel sharks’ life history characteristics make them susceptible to accumulating high amounts of contaminants. Four angel sharks were opportunistically captured in southern California and their liver and uterine contents were analyzed for PCBs, DDTs and other pesticides. High DDT:PCB ratios were found in the sharks indicating direct or indirect foraging near a local EPA Superfund Site. Organic contaminants were measured in ovulated eggs, indicating that females are able to maternally offload contaminants. Despite the potential mismatch between ovarian and uterine fecundity, we estimated females to offload approximately 13 ± 5% of their total body load, which represents the upper limit of this capability. Although low in sample size, the initial findings from this study suggest that habitat use might play an important role in contaminant accumulation in this species.
Marine Pollution Bulletin, In Press, Corrected Proof, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.05.019