Anguilliform fish reveal large scale contamination by mine trace elements in the coral reefs of New Caledonia

Abstract : Due to intensive mining activity, increasing urbanization and industrialisation, vast amounts of contaminants are discharged into the lagoon of New Caledonia, one of the largest continuous coral reef systems and a major biodiversity hot spot. The levels of 11 trace element concentrations were examined in the muscles of predator fish in the south-western lagoon (moray eels and congers). These species are sedentary, widespread, abundant, and they are easily collected using sea snake sampling technique. We found the highest mean and maximal concentrations of different trace elements ever found in coral fish, notably regarding trace elements typical from mining activity (e.g., mean values for Cr and Ni respectively: 5.53 ± 6.99 µg.g-1 [max, 35.7 µg.g-1] and 2.84 ± 3.38 µg.g-1 [max, 18.0 µg.g-1]). Results show that important trace element contamination extends throughout the lagoon to the barrier reef, following a concentration gradient from the oldest nickel factory (Nouméa).
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Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2014, 470-471, pp.876-882. 〈10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.027〉
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Xavier Bonnet, Marine J. Briand, François Brischoux, Yves Letourneur, Thomas Fauvel, et al.. Anguilliform fish reveal large scale contamination by mine trace elements in the coral reefs of New Caledonia. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2014, 470-471, pp.876-882. 〈10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.027〉. 〈hal-00918751v2〉

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