Home > Explore Data & Reports > An assessment of contaminant body burdens in the coral (Porites astreoides) and Queen conch (Strombus gigas) from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER)

Citation:

Apeti, D.A., A.L. Mason, S.I. Hartwell, A.S. Pait, L.J. Bauer, C.F.G. Jeffrey, A.M. Hoffman, F.R. Galdo Jr, and S.J. Pittman. 2014. An assessment of contaminant body burdens in the coral (Porites astreoides) and Queen conch (Strombus gigas) from the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER). NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 177. Silver Spring, MD. 37 pp.

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum

Description

As part of the joint effort between the US Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the NOAA Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS), to conduct a Reserves-wide impact assessment of land-based sources of pollution and effects in the St. Thomas East End Reserves (STEER), contaminant body burdens in coral (Porites astreoides) and conch (Strombus gigas) were assessed. Samples of coral and conch were collected from five previously identified strata and analyzed for more than 150 chemical contaminants including heavy metals (e.g. cadmium, copper, mercury and zinc) and organic contaminants (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocar-bons, polychlorinated biphenyls and pesticides). Conch from the STEER had lower contaminant body burdens relative to published data on conch from south Florida and some other areas of the Caribbean. Where available, contaminant body burdens in conch were compared to FDA maximum permissible action levels for molluscan shellfish consumption. The conch samples from the STEER had contaminant body burdens lower than their available respective FDA action levels. A significant correlation between higher concentrations of butyltins closer to shore existed for conch, despite relatively low overall concentrations as compared to previous results from the region.

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