Great Lakes Fish Contaminants Monitoring and Surveillance Data
The Fish Contaminants Monitoring Program (FCMP) was initiated in 1976. The objective is to collect a variety of biological samples in freshwater environments for the purpose of determining ecosystem contaminant levels. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) collects biological samples from a number of lakes and rivers across Canada in support of federally mandated programs. ECCC has collected fish and invertebrates from the Great Lakes since 1976 in support of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). More recently, samples have been collected nationally to support Canada's Chemicals Management Plan and the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda. ECCC also maintains a specimen bank of frozen tissues which is a requirement of the GLWQA and is an integral part of departmental monitoring and research programs. The National Aquatic Biological Specimen Bank (NABSB) is located in a dedicated facility at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario.
The primary indicator species for the FCMP are top predator fish such as Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and walleye (Sander vitreus) which integrate contaminants in the pelagic ecosystem over space and time. In the Great Lakes, forage fish and other components of the aquatic profundal foodweb such as Mysis are also collected to help characterize contaminant flow in the foodweb. Whole specimens are homogenized, including gut contents, and stored at -80 °C under controlled conditions. Specimens are analyzed for chemicals of concern under the GLWQA and the CMP (trace metals, PCBs, PBDEs, PFAS ect). In addition, we collect biological data on the fish including sex, age, size and stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon where possible.
All specimens received and/or collected are registered and assigned with successive and unique identification numbers (CSP number). A secure relational database maintains all biological data (length, age, etc.) associated with each specimen number as well as data with regard to location, collection methods, storage and the results of all chemical analyses that have been performed on the specimen.
Tissue samples from the NABSB are available for collaborative research projects. The release of specimens for research purposes will adhere to ECCC’s policy which follows these general principles:
• The research proposed has been reviewed for scientific merit
• There is sufficient tissue to issue without unduly depleting the total specimen. If a request would exhaust the remaining tissue then the rationale for issuing it will be stringent
• Other means of obtaining the information have been explored and are not possible
• Co-authorship will be given on resulting publications along with acknowledgement of the NABSB
For more information on the process to initiate a request for samples and/or data from the NABSB please contact Tana.McDaniel@ec.gc.ca
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
Data and Resources
National_Aquatic_Specimen_Bank_Holdings__1977-present.csvCSVEnglish dataset CSV
Specimen Bank- Freezers full of science.pdfPDFEnglish guide PDF
Banque de Spécimens-Des congélateurs remplis de science.pdfPDFFrench guide PDF
View ECCC Data Mart (English)HTMLEnglish web_service HTML
View ECCC Data Mart (French)HTMLFrench web_service HTML
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