4D.4 Dynamics contributing to PCB congener accumulation in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coastal waters

Friday, 13 November 2009: 11:20 AM
William D. Gardner, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; and A. Deshpande and E. May

Over the past decade, the issuance of consumption advisories has been a somewhat misunderstood and contentious facet of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) management. Ambiguity surrounding contaminant origins has often resulted in considerable stakeholder concern and contributed to the ignorance or disregard of fish consumption advisories by the public. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the principle contaminants causing the issuance of health advisories for striped bass captured in the Chesapeake Bay. Current guidelines are based on PCB levels in legally harvestable fish and do not take into consideration spatial and age-related variations in fish habitat use; although results suggest that striped bass are being exposed to sources both inside and outside the Chesapeake Bay. Adult migrants collected from the Atlantic Coastal waters represent a significant data gap in the current managerial assessment and data is also lacking on PCB concentrations in striped bass (1 to 3 years) resident in their natal tributaries. The overall objective of this study is to determine the congener-specific PCB concentrations, in both young striped bass within Chesapeake Bay subestuaries and older migrant striped bass overwintering in Atlantic Coastal waters and to provide information regarding dynamics contributing to the observed congener accumulation pattern. This paper will provide initial data from two of the Chesapeake Bay subestuaries (Upper Chesapeake Bay, and Pocomoke River) and from of the Atlantic Coast above Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
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