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(273) Endocrine responses in wild fish exposed to municipal sewage effluents and pulp and paper mill wastes. Can we separate out the responses?
McMaster, Mark*,1, Hewitt, Mark1, Tetreault, Gerald1, Van Der Kraak, Glen2, Hobby, Andrea2, Denslow, Nancy3, Portt, Cam4, Oakes, Ken2, 1 Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada2 University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada3 University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States4 C. Portt and Associates, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
ABSTRACT- Over the last 3 years we have been examining wild fish within the Northern Rivers Basin in Alberta for evidence of reproductive endocrine disruption. In the systems examined, fish are exposed to municipal sewage wastes and pulp and paper mill effluents. In our first year of study, wild fish downstream of the discharge of a municipal sewage treatment plant demonstrated some evidence of altered reproductive fitness. Longnose sucker exposed to sewage effluent had altered circulating steroid hormone and vitellogenin levels as well as increased levels of hepatic oxidative stress, but showed no changes in gonadal development or levels of gonadal apoptosis. This discharge however, is fairly close (10 km) to the input of effluent from a bleached kraft mill and separating the effects was difficult, although mixed function oxygenase enzymes were induced to a greater extent in fish downstream of the pulp and paper mill. Studies in our third year focussed on trying to confirm the results that we had demonstrated earlier, as well as trying to separate out the effects of the two discharges. These studies compare reproductive endpoints in wild fish to endocrine activity accumulated in semi-permeable membrane devices from the two effluent sources relative to an upstream reference site.
Key words: reproductive fitness, sewage effluent, pulp mill effluent, fish health
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