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Specimen Banking for Marine Animal Health Assessment



John R. Kucklick, Rebecca S. Pugh, Paul R. Becker, Jennifer M. Lynch, Russell D. Day, Jennifer Yordy, Amanda J. Moors, Steven J. Christopher, Colleen E. Bryan Sallee, Lori Schwacke, Randall S. Wells, Brian C. Balmer, Aleta Hohn, Teri Rowles


Marine animals are faced with health threats including disease and accumulation of toxic pollutants. There are several efforts in the USA seeking to relate health metrics to the exposure of marine animals to pollution, biotoxins, and disease. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) supports those efforts through projects directed towards marine mammals and sea turtles. The marine mammal activities conducted by NIST aid multiple investigators engaged in live-capture and release marine mammal health assessments. NIST developed a uniform collection protocol for blood, blubber, skin, and milk samples to be analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and trace elements. The protocol includes instructions for collecting samples for immediate analysis as well as sub-samples for long-term archival. For bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), the protocol was utilized 26 times along the US Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico Coast, and off of Bermuda. The work resulted in publications assessing pollutant exposure to bottlenose dolphins in these areas. NIST also supports efforts to monitor sea turtle health. A uniform protocol for collecting blood and scute samples from live sea turtles was developed and applied to turtles from several locations along the US East Coast resulting in publications detailing pollutant exposure and health effects
Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry
Publisher Info
TERRAPUB, Tokyo, -1


Cetacean, Sea Turtle, Health, Pollution, Sampling


Kucklick, J. , Pugh, R. , Becker, P. , Lynch, J. , Day, R. , Yordy, J. , Moors, A. , Christopher, S. , Bryan, C. , Schwacke, L. , , R. , Balmer, B. , Hohn, A. and Rowles, T. (2010), Specimen Banking for Marine Animal Health Assessment, Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry, TERRAPUB, Tokyo, -1 (Accessed July 13, 2024)


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Created November 8, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017