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Variations of organochlorine residues with age and sex in Antarctic minke whale


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Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p, p′-DDE were determined in the blubber of Antarctic minke whale collected during the 1984-1985 whaling season and found to be in the ranges of 3.1 to 29 ng/g and 13 to 140 ng/g on wet weight basis, respectively. These values were much lower in comparison with those of this species in the northern hemisphere. The female animals older than 15 years of age revealed the low residue levels in contrast to mature males, probably due to the lactational excretion of these organochlorines. However, such excretion seems to be lesser in minke whales than in small cetaceans because of the smaller difference of organochlorine levels between mature males and females of the former. The concentration ratios of DDE to PCBs were found to be higher in immature minke whale than in mature animal, indicating the possibility that the feeding grounds of immature animal extend further north from the Antarctic Ocean.


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    departmental bulletin paper
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