Fate of chlorinated fatty acids in migrating sockeye salmon and their transfer to arctic grayling

Huiling Mu, G. Ewald, E. Nilsson, P. Sundin, C. Wesen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    To investigate whether biotransport constitutes an entry route into pristine ecosystems for nonpersistent, nonvolatile xenobiotic compounds, extractable organically bound halogen in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from Alaska was determined before and after spawning migration. The major organohalogen compounds in the salmon were halogenated fatty acids, predominantly chlorinated species that accounted for up to 35% of the extractable, organically bound chlorine (EOCl) in the fish tissues. The amount of chlorinated fatty acids in the salmon muscle decreased as a result of spawning migration. The decrease was correlated with that of triacylglycerols in the salmon muscle, indicating the chlorinated fatty acids to be mobilized and metabolized to approximately the same extent as the other fatty acids. Chlorinated fatty acids were also transferred to the maturing roe in a manner similar to that of the unchlorinated fatty acids. Lipids of the Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus), a fish resident to the spawning lake of the salmon, contained higher concentrations of chlorinated fatty acids than grayling in a lake without migratory salmon. This may reflect a food-chain transfer of the chlorinated fatty acids originating from the salmon, demonstrating a long-range transport route for this type of pollutants to pristine areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology (Washington)
    Pages (from-to)5548-5554
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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