Skin Biopsies as a Sensitive Non-Lethal Technique for the Ecotoxicological Studies of Great White Shark(Carcharodon carcharias) Sampled in South Africa
Skin Biopsies as a Sensitive Non-Lethal Technique for the Ecotoxicological Studies of Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) Sampled in South Africa
Top-predators may be extremely vulnerable to environmental contaminants, such as organochlorines (OCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mostly because of their position in the trophic web. In this study, the use of skin biopsy is proposed as a sensitive non-lethal technique for the toxicological assessment of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) living off the South African coasts. In 2012, 15 specimens of great white shark were sampled in the waters off Dyer Island and Geyser Rock. Then OCs and PAHs were extracted from muscle and biomarkers techniques for the evaluation of the cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A), Vitellogenin (Vtg) and Zona Radiata Proteins (Zrp) in the skin have been developed for the first time. The results showed levels of OCs higher than those found in the literature, ranging in ng/g dry weight (d.w.) from 6.80 to 21.26 for hexachlorobenzene (HCB), from 86.72 to 1416.97 for DDTs and from 379.76 to 11284.31 for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).