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Legacy and emerging organic contaminants in two sympatric shark species from Reunion Island (Southwest Indian Ocean): Levels, profiles and maternal transfer

Abstract : The contamination of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) and bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) by legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and emerging organic contaminants was investigated in specimens from Reunion Island (Southwest Indian Ocean) in 2018 and 2019. Contamination levels were determined in the muscle of adult individuals of both sexes in relation to biological and trophic parameters. Maternal transfer was additionally investigated in one set of embryos in each species. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), organochlorinated pesticide (OCP) and perfluoroalkylated substance (PFAS) concentrations were 2597 ± 2969, 785 ± 966 and 267 ± 194 pg g-1 ww, respectively, in bull sharks, and 339 ± 270, 1025 ± 946 and 144 ± 53 pg g-1 ww in tiger sharks. The results highlighted higher PCB contamination, and by the heavier congeners, in adult bull sharks versus tiger sharks. The significant differences found in PCB profiles and concentrations suggest that the two species are exposed to different contamination sources. As bull sharks rely on a more coastal habitat for feeding, their higher contamination by PCBs suggests the occurrence of local PCB sources. DDT concentrations were similar in both species, suggesting a more homogeneous contamination on the scale of the Southwest Indian Ocean. Female bull sharks showed lower OCP and PCB concentrations than males, while this trend was not observed in tiger sharks. The ratio of chlorinated contaminants in muscle between the mother and her embryos was related to molecule hydrophobicity in bull shark but not in tiger shark, suggesting that shark mode of gestation, known to be different in the two species, is a key driver of organic contaminant maternal transfer. Finally, the results show that organic contaminant levels in the studied species were lower than those of other shark species in the Southern Hemisphere, related to the limited urbanization and industrialization of Reunion Island.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 10:28:36 AM
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M. Chynel, C. Munschy, N. Bely, K. Héas-Moisan, C. Pollono, et al.. Legacy and emerging organic contaminants in two sympatric shark species from Reunion Island (Southwest Indian Ocean): Levels, profiles and maternal transfer. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2021, 751 (10), pp.141807. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141807⟩. ⟨hal-03237175⟩



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