The Mediterranean Sea provides food resources to many countries worldwide, including the United States. Numerous marine birds and mammals depend on the Mediterranean food web.
Working in collaboration with Dartmouth College, BRI biologists set out to measure mercury levels in low trophic level zooplankton in the Mediterranean Sea. The goal is to link this data with the abiotic mercury measurements in air/water/sediment collected by the research teams from Italy, France, Sweden, and Slovenia in the Mediterranean Sea (including the Tyrrhenian Sea in 2011, the Straits of Gibraltar, and the Atlantic Ocean in 2012) and to explore mercury exposure in the higher marine organisms such as fish and squid, which are major food sources for many marine birds, fish, and mammals including humans.
BRI Project Coordinator: Oksana Lane
We found elevated levels of mercury in fish captured in 2011 and 2012 in the western basins. In addition, we found high mercury concentrations in the hair of many Italian crew members who live on the ship about six or more months per year and who consume fish on a regular basis. Our work will complement water-atmospheric mercury research carried out by our European colleagues, and will add to the global knowledge of mercury cycling in the marine ecosystem. In addition:
Mercury in Biota in the Tyrrhenian Sea—Pilot Study 2011. Oksana Lane, David Evers Biodiversity Research Institute, Maine and Kate Buckman- Dartmouth college, New Hampshire, USA. PowerPoint Presentation
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