Dead Orcas. State of Southern Resident Orcas. Almost 20% orcas died between 1995 and 2000.Reproductive females have not produced young in ten years.Only four adult males in the entire community of 80 whales.. Puget Sound Orcas and PCBs. Highest levels of PCBs in blubber of any marine mammal in the worldAverage almost 150 ppm<10 ppm PCB is known to cause immune problems in sealsDead female transient orca on Dungeness Spit in May 2002 1000 ppm PCB12ppm- EPA's standard for marine sediments.
1. Happy Orcas
2. Dead Orcas
3. State of Southern Resident Orcas Almost 20% orcas died between 1995 and 2000.
Reproductive females have not produced young in ten years.
Only four adult males in the entire community of 80 whales.
4. Puget Sound Orcas and PCBs Highest levels of PCBs in blubber of any marine mammal in the world
Average almost 150 ppm
<10 ppm PCB is known to cause immune problems in seals
Dead female transient orca on Dungeness Spit in May 2002
1000 ppm PCB
12ppm- EPA’s standard for marine sediments
5. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
6. PCBs Highly stable oily fluids and solids
Transformers, pesticides, etc
Reside in fatty tissue
Block hormone activity
Destroy normal immune function
Cause liver cancer, pituitary tumors, leukemia, and lymphoma
Banned in U.S. since 1977
7. Ecosystem Review Ecosystem
Organisms interacting with environment and each other through a food chain
Biomass moves from one organism to another as each eats a lower member and, in turn, is eaten by a higher member
8. Generalized Ecological Pyramid
9. Idealized Puget Sound Ecological Pyramid
10. Pollutants Pollutant
Adversely affects the health, survival, or activities of living organisms
Persistent Organic Pollutant
Stable, Long Lasting
Includes DDT and PCBs
11. Sources of Pollutants in the Environment Point Source
Specific location of concentrated pollutants
Scattered or diffuse sources of pollutants
12. Factors Influencing Impact of Pollutants Solubility
Water soluble pollutants
Move easily through environment
Fat soluble pollutants
Need a carrier
Long-lasting in body’s fatty tissue
Longer to break down
More harm it can do
13. Pollutants in the Food Chain Bioaccumulation
Cells increase the concentrations of molecules relative to the environment
Concentration of pollutants increases as they move up the ecological pyramid
Only 10% of biomass, but most of the pollutant is transferred
14. DDT in a Long Island Estuary (from Woodwell, Wurster and Isaccson, 1967)
15. Idealized Puget Sound Ecological Pyramid With PCBs
16. The ‘Double Whammy’ In blubber, PCBs are not very harmful.
Low salmon runs force orcas to metabolize more blubber to survive.
The blubber releases PCBs into the blood, destroying the immune system.
Therefore, starvation increases the lethality of the pollutant.