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Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST)


BEMAST archives a representative collection of tissues annually in the U.S. Pacific Islands from prioritized sea turtles species and geographic locations for real-time and retrospective contaminant and health-related research studies.



BEMAST Objectives:

  1. Receive specimens from permitted field studies from representative species suitable for real-time and retrospective monitoring of chemical contaminants and health-related research studies. Preference is given to animals, locations, or projects that have the advantage of multiple collaborators that are acquiring additional information on the turtles (e.g., mark/recapture tagging, satellite tagging, time/depth recording, foraging studies, stable isotope, genetics, population abundance studies, aging, etc). This objective is meant to obtain the most information from each turtle "take".
  2. Transport, inventory, homogenize, subsample, and archive samples in conditions that are suitable for long-term storage and eventual analysis for contaminants and health-related research.
  3. Analyze samples for contaminants and health-related research.
  4. Make the collection inventory accessible to other researchers and provide samples to researchers from approved research projects consistent with the goals of BEMAST.

Ongoing Sample Analysis:

  • Metabolomics
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Mercury
  • Transcriptomics


  1. "Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle Tissues (BEMAST): Rationale, Protocols, and Initial Collections of Banked Sea Turtle Tissues"
  2. "Investigating the Potential Role of Persistent Organic Pollutants in Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Fibropapillomatosis"
Created February 19, 2015, Updated March 19, 2021