Biochemical indicators of pollution exposure in shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius), caught in four harbours on the southwest coast of Iceland

Eiríkur Stephensen*, Jörundur Svavarsson, Joachim Sturve, Gunilla Ericson, Margaretha Adolfsson-Erici, Lars Förlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)


Shorthorn sculpins (Myoxocephalus scorpius) were caught in four Icelandic harbours, differing in size, use and traffic. Biochemical responses in liver were measured and chemicals analysed in bile. Eyrarbakki harbour, which has not been in use for many years was chosen as a control site. Njarovik harbour is a small fishing harbour and a marina, Sandgeroi harbour is a large fishing harbour, and Reykjavik harbour is a large fishing harbour and an international transport harbour. Higher levels of DNA-adducts and cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) in the fish from the harbours in Sandgeroi, Njarovik and Reykjavik, compared to Eyrarbakki harbour, indicate PAH exposure. This was confirmed by PAH analysis in bile. The higher activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR) in fish caught in Sandgeroi, than in fish caught in the other harbours, indicate exposure of sculpin to prooxidative compounds in Sandgeroi harbour. Shorthorn sculpin seems to be a convenient species for monitoring pollution in northern coastal areas. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mistra (Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) and the Virtue project for financial help. The authors would like to thank Aina Stenborg for excellent technical assistance, Dr Lars Johan Erkell for a stimulating discussion and the people who were of assistance in Iceland: Arnljótur Sigurjónsson, Dr Halldór ormar, Dr Már Björgvinsson and Sverrir Stephensen.

Other keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Detoxification enzymes
  • Genotoxicity
  • Marine pollution
  • Oxidative stress


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