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Abstract


Haggarty, DR; McCorquodale, B; Johannessen, DI; Levings, CD; Ross, PS. "Marine environmental quality in the central coast of British Columbia, Canada: a review of contaminant sources, types and risks." Canadian Technical Report on Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2003, No. 2507, 163pp.

The region known as the central coast of British Columbia (Canada) extends from Northern Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands. It encompasses the broad, fjord-strewn mainland region, the open waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, the passages of Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait, and discovery passage, numerous island archipelagos, and offshore waters. Past and ongoing activities which have impacted the environment in the central coast include contamination sources associated with salmon aquaculture, oil pollution, wastewater effluent, marine traffic, forestry and forest product, and mining, as well as the global atmospheric transport and deposition of "legacy" Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), "new" POPs, and metals. Regulations implemented to eliminate the use of many of the POPs, as well as regulations designed to reduce the by-production of dioxins and furans through pulp processes and wood preservative applications, have helped to reduce the inputs of harmful substances into the coastal waters of the central coast. However, emerging issues are likely to reflect new industrial chemicals and pesticides, increasing cruise ship traffic, the expansion of aquaculture activities, and perhaps most significantly, the potential for the development of offshore oil and gas in the Queen Charlotte Basin. This report will provide the reader with an annotated summary of information sources on what is known about this coastal region of British Columbia. However, significant information gaps exist on basic biology and ecology of the species present in this area, making it difficult to conduct a thorough assessment of the state of the environment in the central coast. Basic and applied research is clearly needed to address some of the fundamental information gaps needed for effective management and conservation in this region.


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