Main content area

Arctic marine fish ‘biotransformation toxicity’ model for ecological risk assessment

Fahd, Faisal, Veitch, Brian, Khan, Faisal
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.142 pp. 408-418
Bayesian theory, Boreogadus saida, biotransformation, cytotoxicity, environmental assessment, enzyme activity, liver, marine fish, metabolism, models, oils, photoperiod, risk, risk assessment, sea ice, sea transportation, water pollution, xenobiotics, Arctic region
Oil and gas exploration and marine transport in the Arctic region have put the focus on the ecological risk of the possibly exposed organisms. In the present study, the impacts of sea ice, extreme light regime, various polar region-specific physiological characteristics in polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and their effects on xenobiotic distribution and metabolism are studied. A Bayesian belief network is used to model individual fish toxicity. The enzyme activity in the fish liver and other pertinent organs is used as a proxy for cellular damage and repair and is subsequently linked to toxicity in polar cod. Seasonal baseline variation in enzyme production is also taken into consideration. The model estimates the probability of exposure concentration to cause cytotoxicity and circumvents the need to use the traditionally obtained No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC). Instead, it uses biotransformation enzyme activity as a basis to estimate the probability of individual cell damages.