Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) Marine Fishes Project - Mercury and hydrocarbons data collected from the Canadian Beaufort Sea 2013
Ship: CCGS Amundsen CA
Principal Investigator: Jim Reist
Start Date: 01-08-2013
End Date: 12-09-2013
Citation: Stern et al. 2013, Unpublished data
Abstract: The 2013 BREA marine fishes cruise was split into two legs. Leg 1 samples were collected from six transects: Cape Parry (cpy), Bennett Point (bpt), Darnley Bay (dar), Ulukhaktok (ulu), Cape Bathurst, and the esc transect running from Nearshore from Cape Bathurst to offshore of Tuktoyaktuk. A total of 35 stations ranging from from 20-750m were sampled. Leg two consisted of four transects: Garry (gry), Transboundary (tbs), A1 (a transect in U.S. waters), and a deepwater transect (dwt). A total of 23 stations were sampled ranging from 40m to 1500m depth. Sediment from box cores, benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and fish were collected as part of the BREA marine fishes project, and analysed for mercury and hydrocarbons (PAHs and alkanes). Sediment samples were also analysed for a suite of 53 elements, along with the use of Rock-Eval analyses of organic matter to assist in interpreting the sedimentary record, and by extension, processes occurring in the water column. Samples were analysed according to standard procedures for each type of analysis. Preliminary results from the sediment show that most metals and organic matter increase with water depth and distance offshore, which for organic matter is counter to trends observed in most other marine systems. Preliminary results from zooplankton show a general increase in mercury from west to east, while benthic invertebrates from one transect mirror the increases observed in the sediment, with substantial bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the biota. Other analyses (e.g., hydrocarbons) are currently ongoing. To determine background levels of hydrocarbons and mercury in sediment and biota (benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and fish) from the Beaufort Sea as part of the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment. The aim is to provide sufficient background information to assess any changes to the environment, due to oil spills, marine traffic and related accidents.