Organochlorine contaminants in ringed seals (Phoca hispida) of the western Canadian Arctic
Ship: CCGS Amundsen CA
Principal Investigator: Gary Stern
Start Date: 01-06-1993
End Date: 30-06-2008
Citation: Gaden A, Ferguson SH, Harwood L, Melling H, Alikamik J, Stern GA. 2012. Western Canadian Arctic ringed seal organic contaminant trends in relation to sea ice break-up. Environmental Science and Technology 46, 4427-4433
Abstract: Ringed seals are harvested by members of the Hunters and Trappers Committee at Ulukhaqtuuq (formerly Holman, NT) on an annual basis. Tissue samples from 13-20 seals per year in 1993, 1995 and 2002-2005 were chemically analyzed in laboratories in Winnipeg, MB. Sex and morphometric measurements of the seals were recorded in the field. Organochlorine concentrations from blubber, including pesticides and PCBs, were analyzed with gas chromatography and electron capture detection at the Freshwater Institute (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Winnipeg, MB. Stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon from lipid-extracted muscle tissue were analyzed with continuous flow ion ratio mass spectrometry at the University of Winnipeg Isotope Laboratory. Sea ice parameters were measured from Canadian Ice Service ice charts at the Institute of Ocean Science, Sidney, BC. The dataset was developed to examine patterns of organochlorine contaminants and stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon in ringed seals with length of the ice-free season in the eastern Amundsen Gulf. We also review temporal trends of organochlorine contaminants.