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The Potential Impacts of Pollution on Humpback Dolphins, with a Case Study on the Hong Kong Population

Author(s):

E.C.M. Parsons

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Abstract: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) inhabit coastal and estuarine waters close to anthropogenic sources of pollution. Detailed studies of contaminant levels on Hong Kong’s population of humpback dolphins showed high levels of organochlorines, in particular DDT, and mercury contamination. These contaminant levels are high enough to impact humpback dolphin health. It is likely that several other populations of humpback dolphins are contaminated to a similar degree, and urgent research is warranted. In addition to organochlorine and trace element pollution, the impacts of butyltin (BT), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), tris(4-chlorophenyl)methane (TCPMe), tris(4-chlorophenyl)methanol (TCPMeOH), and sewage pollution on humpback dolphin populations should be investigated as a matter of urgency.

Key Words: INDO-PACIFIC HUMPBACK DOLPHIN; SOUSA CHINENSIS; POLLUTION; ORGANOCHLORINE; TRACE ELEMENT; BUTYLTIN; PAH; TCPME; TCPMEOH; SEWAGE; HONG KONG

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.30.1.2004.18

Page Numbers: 18-37

Info SKU: Vol__30__Iss__1__Parsons2 Category:

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