ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2014, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 147–151. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
Original Russian Text © V.Yu. Tsygankov, M.D. Boyarova, O.N. Lukyanova, 2014, published in Biologiya Morya.
Mass strandings and epizootics of marine mam
mals may be connected with high concentrations in
their tissues of persistent toxic substances . Being at
the top of the food pyramid, marine mammals accu
mulate these substances in the blubber and provide
bioindicators of global sea pollution and toxic effects
of pollutants. Marine mammals can be considered to
be model systems for studying the chronic effects of
low doses of toxicants [6, 18].
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its
metabolites dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD)
and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) were
found in the organs of marine mammals that inhabit
all regions of the World Ocean and in almost all species
of cetaceans and pinnipeds captured even in remote
areas, the Arctic and the Antarctic [10, 19]. Heavy
metal inputs into the aquatic environment are due to
both natural and anthropogenic sources. By the esti
mates of the World Health Organization (WHO), cad
mium, lead, and mercury are priority pollutants that
affect any organism .
The Pacific walrus
Odobenus rosmarus divergens
target species of fishery by the aboriginal people of
northeastern Russia and is consumed by them as food.
The aim of the present research is to assess the con
tents of organochlorine pesticides (
mers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH),
'DDE), as well as heavy metals
(Cd, Pb, and Hg) in the muscles and liver of the Pacific
O. rosmarus divergens
from the Bering Sea.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We examined muscle and liver samples of eight
specimens (five males and three females) of the Pacific
walrus captured in the summer of 2011 by the aborigi
nal people at the coast of Mechigmensky Bay in the
Bering Sea (Chukotka Autonomous District).
Lipids from homogenized organs were extracted
with hexane; fat components were destroyed with con
centrated sulfuric acid . The content of each pesti
cide in the analyzed sample was determined by the
height of a peak on the chromatogram according to
calibration curves. The curves were plotted based on
analysis of a series of solutions of the state reference
samples (NVP ALFARUS) .
The content of metals (Cd, Pb, Hg) was deter
mined in dried samples after they were mineralized
with concentrated nitric acid of specifically pure grade
Persistent Toxic Substances in the Muscles and Liver
of the Pacific Walrus
Odobenus rosmarus divergens
1815 from the Bering Sea
V. Yu. Tsygankov
, M. D. Boyarova
, and O. N. Lukyanova
Far Eastern Federal University, ul. Sukhanova 8, Vladivostok, 690091 Russia
Pacific Scientific Research
Fisheries Center, pereulok Shevchenko 4, Vladivostok, 690091 Russia
Received September 19, 2013
—This study reports data on the contents of organochlorine pesticides and heavy metals in the mus
cles and livers of eight individuals (five males and three females) of the Pacific walrus
Illiger, 1815, which were captured in the summer of 2011 in Mechigmensky Bay of the Bering Sea.
isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroet
hane (DDT) and its metabolites dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroeth
ylene (DDE), as well as the heavy metals Cd, Pb, and Hg were found in all samples studied. The total con
centration of organochlorine pesticides in the muscles varied from 200 to 5700 ng/g lipid weight and in the
liver from 4900 to 90300 ng/g lipid weight. The concentrations of cadmium, lead, and mercury were 0.04–
6.7, 0.13–0.76, and 0.03–0.40
g/g dry weight, respectively. On the whole, the contents of organochlorine
pesticides and heavy metals in the organs of the Pacific walrus were lower compared to those in marine mam
mals from other regions of the World Ocean.
: marine mammals, organochlorine pesticides, heavy metals, DDT, hexachlorocyclohexane, mer
cury, lead, cadmium