Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 363669
Title Are dioxin-like contaminants responsible for the eel (Anguilla anguilla) drama?
Author(s) Palstra, A.P.; Ginneken, V.J.T. van; Murk, A.J.; Thillart, G. van den
Source Naturwissenschaften 93 (2006)3. - ISSN 0028-1042 - p. 145 - 148.
Department(s) IMARES
Aquaculture and Fisheries
Sub-department of Toxicology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) polychlorinated-biphenyls - exposure - 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin - mortality - oocytes - impact - stores - pcbs
Abstract Eel populations worldwide are dangerously close to collapsing. Our study is the first to show that current levels of dioxin-like contaminants are strong candidates because of their devastating effects on development and survival of eel embryos. Female and male silver eels were artificially stimulated to maturation and reproduction by treatment with carp pituitary extracts and hCG, respectively. During maturation of female European silver eels, about 60 g fat per kg eel is incorporated in the oocytes. Together with the fat, however, persistent organic pollutants such as dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are incorporated too. The total dioxin-like toxic potency of the individual gonad batches was determined as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxine equivalents (TEQs), using an in vitro reporter gene assay. The observed differences in development and survival showed a significant negative correlation with the TEQ levels in the gonads, already at levels far below the maximal allowable level for fish consumption, i.e., 4 ng TEQ/kg fish. The clear inverse relationship between the TEQ level and the survival period of the fertilised eggs strongly suggests that the current levels of dioxin-like compounds seriously impair the reproduction of the European eel. The peak of the environmental levels of dioxin-like PCBs and the decline of eel coincide worldwide, further suggesting that, in addition to other threats, these contaminants contributed significantly to the current collapse in eel populations.
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