Blubber from stranded South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) was sampled between 1991 and 2005 on the Peninsula Valdés in Argentina and analyzed for organochlorine (OC) pollutants. Mean blubber concentrations, expressed on an extractable basis, were 686 (SD = 1,060) ng g−1 for dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (tDDT) and 735 (SD = 787) ng g−1 for polychlorinated byphenils (PCB). The OC levels were well below those associated with adverse sublethal effects and lethality in mammals. OC concentrations showed statistically significant associations with age that were positive in males and negative in females. These trends are consistent with the majority of marine mammal populations studied. There were no trends in the levels of tDDT or PCB over time. In spite of the low levels detected, OC contamination was present consistently over the 14-year period, suggesting continuous inputs from geographic redistribution.
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Thanks are due to many people from the Marine Mammal Laboratory (CENPAT who helped with fieldwork and collected tissue samples for this study). Logistic support for field work was provided by Centro Nacional Patagónico. Lourdes Berdier from Serveis Científico Tècnics of the University of Barcelona is gratefully acknowledged for GC–MS technical support and laboratory assistance. This study was possible through funding granted by Fundación BBVA.
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Borrell, A., Garcia-Solà, A., Aguilar, A. et al. Organochlorine Residues in South American Sea Lions, Otaria flavescens (Shaw, 1800): Bioaccumulation and Time Trends. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 731–737 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-0025-x
- Otaria flavescens