Biomarkers of PAH exposure in an intertidal fish species from Prince William Sound, Alaska: 2004-2005. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure biomarkers were measured in high cockscomb prickleback (Anoplarchus purpurescens) fish collected from both previously oiled and unoiled shore in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, to test the hypothesis that fish living in the nearshore environment of the sound were no longer being exposed to PAH from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Pricklebacks spend their entire lives in the intertidal zone of rocky shores with short-term movements during feeding and breeding restricted to an area of about 15 meters in diameter. Fish were assayed for the PAH exposure biomarkers, bile fluorescent aromatic compounds (FAC), and liver ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity (a measure of cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) monooxygenase activity). Bile FAC concentrations and EROD activities were low and not significantly different in fish from previously oiled and unoiled sites. The similar low EROD activity and bile FAC concentrations in fish from oiled and unoiled shores, supports the hypothesis that these low-level biomarker responses were not caused by exposure of the fish to residues of the spilled oil.

publication date

  • October 15, 2006