Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) traveled to Dillingham, Alaska on September 17 -24 to collect sediments for contaminant analysis and toxicity testing, and fish tissue for histology and body burden analysis. They also conducted benthic community surveys to characterize baseline contaminant conditions in the near-shore and coastal waters of Nushagak and Kvichak Bays, subestuaries of Bristol Bay.
Using National Status and Trends Bioeffects Program protocols, and working in close cooperation with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the sediment and tissue samples will be analyzed for over 150 chemical contaminants, a battery of toxicity bioassays, benthic community health assessment, and fish health condition in harbors and open waters. Additional sampling will take place in 2014. Results from the analysis will be incorporated into an integrated assessment that will help facilitate management of the region's fishery resources. Bristol Bay hosts the largest salmon fishery in the world.
For additional information, contact Ian Hartwell.