August 14, 2008
Man-Made Chemical Pollutants Found in Deep-Sea Octopods
New evidence that chemical contaminants are finding their way into the deep-sea food web has been found in deep-sea squids and octopods, including the vampire squid. These species are food for many deep-diving toothed whales and other predators. Michael Vecchione of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries National Systematics Laboratory and colleagues reported finding a variety of chemical contaminants in nine species of cephalopods.
"It was surprising to find measurable and sometimes high amounts of toxic pollutants in such a deep and remote environment," Vecchione said.
Among the chemicals detected were tributyltin, polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated diphenyl ethers and dichlorodiphenyl- trichloroethane. They are known as persistent organic pollutants because they do not degrade and persist in the environment for a very long time.
Copyright Compass Publications, Inc. Jul 2008
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