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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Chlorinated hydrocarbons in North Sea whiting (Merlangius merlangus L.), and effects on reproduction. I. Tissue burden and hatching success

  • H. v. Westernhagen1,
  • P. Cameron2,
  • V. Dethlefsen2 and
  • D. Janssen1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen43:BF02365549


Artificially inseminated eggs of feral North Sea whiting (Merlangius merlangus) were incubated in the laboratory in order to determine reproductive success. After incubation, two measures for reproductive success, total hatch and viable hatch, were determined and correlated with chlorinated hydrocarbon residues in the respective ovaries. From their specific toxicities and the sum of all determined chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants, a contamination factor (CF) was calculated. Significant negative correlations were found between total hatch and DDT, including its metabolites (ΣDDT), dieldrin and the CF. ΣDDT and the CF were also negatively correlated with viable hatch. A threshold value of ovary contamination above which impairment of reproductive success was likely to occur was set at > 200 μg kg−1 wet wt. for ΣPCB, > 20 μg kg−1 wet wt. for ΣDDT and > 10 μg kg−1 wet wt. for dieldrin.


ToxicityWaste WaterHydrocarbonChlorinateWater Pollution