Fate of Chlorinated Fatty Acids in Migrating Sockeye Salmon and Their Transfer to Arctic Grayling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate whether biotransport constitutes an entry route into pristine ecosystems for nonpersistent, nonvolatile xenobiotic compounds, extractable organically bound halogen in sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from Alaska was determined before and after spawning migration. The major organohalogen compounds in the salmon were halogenated fatty acids, predominantly chlorinated species that accounted for up to 35% of the extractable, organically bound chlorine (EOCl) in the fish tissues. The amount of chlorinated fatty acids in the salmon muscle decreased as a result of spawning migration. The decrease was correlated with that of triacylglycerols in the salmon muscle, indicating the chlorinated fatty acids to be mobilized and metabolized to approximately the same extent as the other fatty acids. Chlorinated fatty acids were also transferred to the maturing roe in a manner similar to that of the unchlorinated fatty acids. Lipids of the Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus), a fish resident to the spawning lake of the salmon, contained higher concentrations of chlorinated fatty acids than grayling in a lake without migratory salmon. This may reflect a food-chain transfer of the chlorinated fatty acids originating from the salmon, demonstrating a long-range transport route for this type of pollutants to pristine areas.


  • Huiling Mu
  • Göran Ewald
  • Einar Nilsson
  • Peter Sundin
  • Clas Wesén
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5548-5554
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Organic chemistry (S/LTH) (011001240), Analytical Chemistry (S/LTH) (011001004), LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies) (016508030)