Effects of dredging in Goteborg Harbor, Sweden, assessed by biomarkers in eelpout (Zoarces viviparus)
Sturve, J., Berglund, A., Balk, L., Broeg, K., Bohmert, B., Massey, S., Savva, D., Parkkonen, J., Stephensen, E., Koehler, A. and Forlin, L. (2005) Effects of dredging in Goteborg Harbor, Sweden, assessed by biomarkers in eelpout (Zoarces viviparus). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24 (8). pp. 1951-1961. ISSN 0730-7268
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1897/04-449R1.1
We used a battery of biomarkers in fish to study the effects of the extensive dredging in Goteborg harbor situated at the river Gota alv estuary, Sweden. Eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) were sampled along a gradient into Goteborg harbor, both before and during the dredging. Biomarker responses in the eelpout before the dredging already indicated that fish in Goteborg harbor are chronically affected by pollutants under normal conditions compared to those in a reference area. However, the results during the dredging activities clearly show that fish were even more affected by remobilized pollutants. Elevated ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activities and cytochrome P4501A levels indicated exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Elevated metallothionein gene expression indicated an increase in metal exposure. An increase in general cell toxicity, measured as a decrease in lysosomal membrane stability, as well as effects on the immune system also could be observed in eelpout sampled during the dredging. The results also suggest that dredging activities in the Gota alv estuary can affect larger parts of the Swedish western coast than originally anticipated. The present study demonstrates that the application of a set of biomarkers is a useful approach in monitoring the impact of anthropogenic activities on aquatic environments.