CIE Spotlight: Application of a quantitative histological health index for Antarctic rock cod from Davis Station, East Antarctica

Julie M.
Julie M.

Title: Application of a quantitative histological health index for Antarctic rock cod (Trematomus bernacchii) from Davis Station, East Antarctica

Authors: Corbett, Patricia A.; King, Catherine K.; Mondon, Julie A.

Source: MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 109 28-40, AUG 2015

Brief summary of the paper: A quantitative Histological Health Index (HHI) was applied to Antarctic rock cod (Trematomus bernacchii) using gill, liver, spleen, kidney and gonad to assess the impact of wastewater effluent from Davis Station, East Antarctica.

A total of 120 fish were collected from 6 sites in the Prydz Bay region of East Antarctica at varying distances from the wastewater outfall. The HHI revealed a greater severity of alteration in fish at the wastewater outfall, which decreased stepwise with distance. Gill and liver displayed the greatest severity of alteration in fish occurring in close proximity to the wastewater outfall, showing severe and pronounced alteration respectively.

Findings of the HHI add to a growing weight of evidence indicating that the current level of wastewater treatment at Davis Station is insufficient to prevent impact to the surrounding environment. The HHI for T. bernacchii developed in this study is recommended as a useful risk assessment tool for assessing in situ, sub-lethal impacts from station-derived contamination in coastal regions throughout Antarctica.