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New contaminants of concearn in marine mammals

Marine mammals are environmental indicators of the environment and can be used in search for new manmade contaminants.

Summary

Usually the highest levels of persistant contaminants are found in marine mammals. The reason for this is that many of them feed high up in the marine food chain, and they grow old. In this project, we are looking for new, unknown or “new” environmental contaminants.

We analyze environmental contaminants in the blubber and liver from seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises from Sweden, Greenland, Iceland and the United States. The focus is to find new environmental contaminants, to study geographical differences in the environment, time trends and comparative studies between different marine mammal species.

The project started in 2017 and is expected to be completed in 2023.

Project participant at the museum

Anna Roos

External participants

Shaw Institute i Maine, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources,The Icelandic Seal Center, Southern Illinois University and The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA.