Atlantic coastal bays of the US are essential habitat for young of year bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix). Their residence in these estuaries during critical life stages, high lipid content, and piscivory make bluefish an ideal bioindicator species for evaluating estuarine health. Individual whole fish from four estuaries impacted by Hurricane Sandy were collected in August 2013, analyzed for a suite of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and organochlorine pesticides and evaluated using health metrics. Concentrations in whole bluefish differed by estuary; however, concentrations for many POPs decreased or were similar to those observed prior to the hurricane. Prevalence of the ectoparasitic gill isopod (Lironeca ovalis) varied by estuary and no relationships between contaminants and lesions were observed. Bluefish should be considered for monitoring programs and, if sampled frequently, could be an effective bioindicator of incremental and episodic changes in contaminants within aquatic food webs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science