Our investigations were conducted from 1990 to 2002. Sampling of bottom sediments and biological objects, as well as photo and video shooting, were performed during scuba diving. The state of the environment and coral reef communities was assessed using the chemical–analytical, fluorometric, and luminometric methods, as well as the Ames test and the transect technique. The research results suggest that the spectrum and distribution pattern of persistent congeners of PCDD/Fs (dioxins) in bottom sediments are similar to those of the defoliant “Agent Orange” and that the bottom sediments are toxic and display photo inhibition and a mutagenic effect. The bottom of the bay is heavily silted throughout its depth. Many large dead colonies of corals without mechanical damage were observed everywhere. The total coverage by live corals in all sites investigated does not exceed 30%. Although, without a doubt, many factors contributed much to the disturbance of the bay ecosystems, the actual trigger for the degradation of the coral reefs seems to be the input of dioxin-containing chemicals used as defoliants during the American–Vietnamese war (Vietnam War).
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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