>
 
> FishingBoating-World.com
 
 
News Home Newsletters Powerboat-World Australian Cruising World Cruising MarineBusiness-World Animated Knots Video Gallery
MarineBusiness-World Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Fish lose sense of smell in polluted waters
Fish lose sense of smell in polluted waters


'When lakes recover from metal contamination, fish can recover their sense of smell.'    Flicker

Fish in lakes tainted with metals are losing their sense of smell, stoking concern among experts that the problem could devastate populations.

But if the fish can just get into cleaner water – even if they’ve been exposed to pollutants their whole life – they start sniffing things properly again, according to new research out of Canada.

Fish use their sense of smell to find mates and food, and to avoid getting eaten. It helps them navigate their often murky world, and it is necessary for their growth and survival. But when metals contact fish nostrils, the neurons shut down to protect the brain.

Metals already have been linked to impaired reproduction and growth in fish but now they are proving to be 'covert toxics,' said Keith Tierney, a University of Alberta assistant professor who did not participate in the new study. 'If you can’t smell food, or avoid predators, you’re more likely to die – simple as that.'

A round goby undergoes a electro-olfactogram procedure to test its sense of smell -  Flicker  


Greg Pyle, a professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, said he suspects that impaired sense of smell 'has meaningful and profound effects' on many fish species. It may be jeopardizing entire populations of fish, including some endangered species.

'We’ve tested everything from leeches to water fleas to several species of fish,' Pyle said. 'Every species and every metal we’ve observed has had effects at low, environmentally relevant concentrations.'

'If you can’t smell food, or avoid predators, you’re more likely to die – simple as that.' -Keith Tierney, University of Alberta Most contaminated lakes have a metallic mix, making it hard to tease out which pollutants are to blame.

In the latest study, Pyle and his team of researchers took yellow perch that lived in Ontario lakes contaminated with mercury, nickel, copper, iron and manganese, and put them in a cleaner lake. Within 24 hours of basking in the clean water, the fish regained their sense of smell.

This shows 'fish from metal contaminated lakes have the ability to recover once the lake recovers,' the authors wrote in the paper published in last month’s Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety journal.

The researchers used wild fish from two lakes with metal contamination (Ramsey and Hannah lakes) and from a cleaner one (Geneva Lake). Ramsey and Hannah, located in Sudbury, Ontario, are polluted from more than a century of mining, particularly with nickel. Hannah Lake is one of the worst-polluted lakes in the area, while Ramsey is similar to other North American lakes near industrial areas. Geneva Lake is far enough northwest to escape most contaminants.

Metal contamination affects the survival of coho salmon which are endangered or threatened in most West Coast waters -  Flicker  


Just as the clean lake revived the sense of smell for the Ramsey and Hannah fish, Geneva Lake’s perch had decreased smell after just 24 hours of hanging out in the dirtier lakes. Their response times to substances that smelled like their food dropped 75 to 59 percent.

Similar results have been reported with minnows and perch, with metals apparently reducing their ability to escape predators.

Some metals attack specific neurons in the nostrils that respond to certain smells, Pyle said. Nickel targets the neurons that help fish smell food, while copper – at low concentrations – targets the neurons that help fish avoid predators. At higher concentrations, copper impairs their smell for everything.

'Copper is a poster child for water pollution,' said Nathaniel Scholz, an ecotoxicology program manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northwest Fisheries Science Center. 'Copper is intensively used as a pesticide, fungicide…It’s found in cars, in boat paint, so boatyards are often contaminated. And it’s often found in industrial discharge and near legacy mining operations. It’s a rare pollutant that’s both agricultural and urban.'

Copper use has more than doubled in the United States over the past three decades, according to a 2012 report from the Copper Development Association.

Copper and other metal contaminants are a factor in the poor survival of the West Coast’s coho salmon, which are endangered or threatened in most of the region, Scholz said.

Young coho salmon exposed to low levels of copper did not evade predators – cutthroat trout – nearly as well as unexposed salmon, according to a lab study by Scholz and colleagues.

Old nickel mines around Sudbury Ontario have contaminated Hannah and Ramsey lakes -  Flicker  


This is concerning, Scholz said, because they are listed as endangered or threatened throughout most of the Northwest United States.

The problem is 'likely to be widespread in many freshwater aquatic habitats,' according to a NOAA report. The report said that increases in salmon response time to smells came within 10 minutes of exposure in some cases.

Some pesticides also affect fish smell, including atrazine and chlorpyrifos, according to research by Oregon State University and Canadian scientists, respectively.

Adding to the concern, Tierney found that zebrafish hung out where the herbicides entered their water, instead of avoiding it. The fish seemed to think that there was more food where the chemicals were because of excessive nutrients and bacteria.

Pyle said one way to mitigate the problem is cleaning up contamination near spawning sites, as embryos are sensitive to the metals. Pyle said hatching in clean water, even if the fish ends up in dirty water, bolsters the chance it will maintain its sense of smell.

'You and I can communicate and learn about our environment from seeing and listening,' Pyle said. 'But when you’re living in water, you get a lot better info from molecules dissolved in your immediate surroundings. It’s crucial for them.'


by Brian Bienkowski

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.fishingboating-world.com/index.cfm?nid=107702

6:19 AM Thu 21 Mar 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







FishingBoating-World





Pontoon Boats are a hit with families and entertainers by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
















Glacier Bay returns to Australia, re-launching at SCIBS by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,
















Power to the people at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,






























Humpback Whales - Non Lethal research
VRFish works with fishers on Corio Bay conflict
Changed boating conditions for ski race on Clarence River
VRFish calls for action on Anglesea River
Submit your entry to the BoatUS Angler 'Catch of the Month' contest
Channel 7 stage returns to Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show - this weekend!
Coastal infrastructure and species loss - Climate Change consequences *Feature
rescueME PLB1 – safety assured in one compact, light package *Feature
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
All Marine Spares hits the boat show trail in a trailer *Feature
Macquarie perch stocked into three northern Victorian waters
Local council celebrates commitment to protect the Great Barrier Reef
Go crazy about whales in a special family fun day at the museum
New generation trawler boats - tradition with a twist
Arvor releases new Sportsfish range
AIMEX focuses on commercial show in Asia
Further Australian growth for Stabicraft
Southport Yacht Club will host a free 'Discover Sailing Day'
Melbourne Boat Show earlier this year - 12 to 16 June
FinScan digital switching fitted to new rescue vessels   
Kids' Zone a drawcard at Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show   
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle welcomes Engel as stage sponsor   
BIAV appoints new GM   
Jet stream gets fish in hot water   
Trash to Treasure - A seafood story   
Big waves shown to be energetically costly for fish   
Fisherman nabbed for illegal fishing at Point Lonsdale   
Maritime Alert - Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters   
World Recreational Fishing Conference - First call for papers open   
12 weeks til Melbourne Boat Show   
First deadline for SCIBS exhibitors looms March 24   
Fishing for Culture - A celebration of fishing in culture   
Improving fish habitat by building a fishing line recycling bin +Video   
Greater numbers of catchable King George whiting in the years to come   
Paul Burt, boating guru, is the face of Sanctuary Cove Boat Show   
Marine Industry loses a loyal servant: Vale Gunter Bruckner   
Positive pass mark for new venue   
Couran Cove signs lease deal with Hope Island Marina   
Phones outpace PCs and TV as preferred device   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW FBW