Low levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPS) in New Zealand eels reflect isolation from atmospheric sources

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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organic pesticides (i.e., DDTs) were measured in long finned eels (Anguilla dieffenbachii) in 17 streams on the west coast of South Island, New Zealand. Very low levels of PCBs and low levels of ppDDE were found. The concentrations of PCBs and ppDDE were not correlated within sites indicating that different processes determined the levels of the two pollutants in New Zealand eels. The PCBs probably originate from atmospheric transport, ppDDE levels are determined by land use and are higher in agriculture areas. The low contamination level of these aquatic systems seems to be a function of a low input from both long and short-range transport as well as few local point sources.
No correlation could be found between lipid content and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) concentration (as shown in previous studies) in the eels which could be explained by low and irregular intake of the pollutants.


  • Niklas Holmqvist
  • Patrik Stenroth
  • Olof Berglund
  • Per Nyström
  • Karin Olsson
  • D Jellyman
  • A R McIntosh
  • Per Larsson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekologi
Sidor (från-till)532-538
TidskriftEnvironmental Pollution
StatusPublished - 2006
Peer review utfördJa