The activities of modern society have unleashed a range of toxic chemicals into the global environment. Many of these toxicants are now being detected in increasing quantities in the tissues of marine mammals, most notably in top predators who acquire relatively large amounts of toxic chemicals by ingesting contaminated prey.
Toxicology of Marine Mammals focuses on the effects of natural and introduced toxicants on organs and systems in marine mammals. It provides overviews on health status and contamination, with subsequent chapters devoted to whales, pinnipeds, dolphins, polar bears, manatees, and sea otters. Internationally renowned researchers assess the mounting evidence for adverse effects on reproduction and the chemically-induced increased susceptibility to death from infectious diseases. The concluding chapter addresses perspectives and issues for the future.
This compelling book features research from a vast geographic landscape ranging from the tropics to the Arctic, with case studies on intriguing areas of contamination such as the St. Lawrence River and the Baltic Sea. It identifies the severe threats that environmental contaminants pose to the health and future of marine mammals. It also makes an urgent call for legislation to regulate the incessant pollution ravaging our seas and devastating the marine mammal population worldwide. Toxicologists working in marine biology and veterinary medicine, conservation scientists, fisheries scientists, environmental scientists, and wildlife managers will all benefit from this comprehensive resource.
Table of Contents
PART I IMPLICATIONS OF CONTAMINANTS FOR MARINE MAMMAL HEALTH. Pathology of Marine Mammals with Special Reference to Infectious Diseases. Contaminants and Marine Mammal Immunotoxicology and Pathology. Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Environmental Organochlorines on Marine Mammals. Effects of Environmental Contaminants on the Endocrine System of Marine Mammals. Opportunities for Environmental Contaminant Research: What Can We Learn from Marine Mammals Under Human Care. PART II AN OVERVIEW OF CONTAMINATION OF MARINE MAMMALS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT. Persistent Ocean Contaminants and Marine Mammals: A Retrospective Overview. Heavy Metals in Marine Mammals. Persistent Organic Contaminants in Arctic Marine Mammals. Inorganic Pollutants in Arctic Marine Mammals. Impacts of Algal Toxins on Marine Mammals. Toxicology in Sirenians. PART III CETACEANS. Cetaceans and Contaminants. Pathology of Cetaceans. A Case Study: Beluga from the St. Lawrence Estuary. Immune Status of St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga Whale. Evaluation of Genotoxic Effects of Environmental Contaminants in Cells of Marine Mammals, with Particular Emphasis on Beluga Whales.. Mechanisms of Aromatic Hydrocarbon Toxicity: Implications for Cetacean Morbidity and Mortality. Ecotoxicologic Investigations of Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatas) Strandings: Accumulation of Persistent Organic Chemicals and Metals. PART IV PINNIPEDS. Global Temporal Trends of Organochlorines and Heavy Metals in Pinnipeds. Pathology in Baltic Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in Relation to Environmental Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors. The Immune System, Chemical Contaminants and Virus-Associated Mass Mortalities Among Pinnipeds. The Effects of Chemical Contaminants on Immune Function in Harbour Seals: Results of a Semi-Field Study. Immunotoxicology of Free-Ranging Pinnipeds: Approaches to Study Design. PART V PERSPECTIVES FOR THE FUTURE. Conclusions and Perspectives for the Future.