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Mercury bioaccumulation in finfish and shellfish from Lavaca Bay, Texas, descriptive models and annotated bibliography
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Mercury bioaccumulation in finfish and shellfish from Lavaca Bay, Texas, descriptive models and annotated bibliography
  • Description:
    "From 1966 to 1970 a chlor-alkali plant operated by ALCOA released mercury enriched wastewater into Lavaca Bay, Texas. A reservoir of mercury enriched sediment has persisted in parts of the bay. In 1988 the Texas Department of Health closed a portion of Lavaca Bay adjacent to the chlor-alkali plant to recreational and commercial taking of finfish and crabs, because the edible flesh of many of these organisms exceeded the, FDA guideline for methylmercury of 1.0 ppm wet weight. The purpose of our investigation was to search the literature for information on the partitioning, bioconcentration, and bioaccumulation of inorganic mercury and methylmercury in aquatic ecosystems which could be used to define the connection between mercury contamination in the sediment and elevated mercury levels in Lavaca Bay biota. We have not considered other potential sources of continuing mercury contamination such as agricultural or urban runoff or industrial emissions. Additional information was sought on the life histories of fish and invertebrates found in bays and estuaries along the Texas coast that could explain this connection. Three target species, red drum, black drum and blue crab were chosen for development of a conceptual model of mercury bioaccumulation " Descriptive models of food web relationships were constructed for red drum, black drum, and blue crab which could be used to evaluate the possible pathways of mercury to these target species. In addition, models also were constructed for the major classes of primary food items: crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish. Models were conceptualized by boxes representing compartments of mercury accumulation and storage(e.g. sediments, water, fish, crabs, and molluscs) and arrows representing pathways of transfer of mercury among compartments"--Executive summary, paragraph 1-2.
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