Development and application of a pollution biomonitoring tool for coastal British Columbia: A caged mussel health index
Healthy and productive coastal regions are highly important to Canada, both socio-economically and for the ecosystem services they provide. In 2015, the Vancouver Aquarium launched a new coast-wide initiative in British Columbia (PollutionTracker) to assess coastal health by generating high quality contaminant data for mussels and nearshore sediments. In the proposed study, Dr. Gabriela Aguirre-Martinez will design and deploy a caged mussel study to complement PollutionTracker and provide strong insight into the accumulation of different pollutants and the effects of these on mussel health Results of this initiative will add depth to PollutionTracker, and will inform the implementation of best practices by stakeholders operating in coastal BC. A net reduction in the release of harmful pollutants into coastal environments will contribute to seafood safety for commercial, recreational and aboriginal fishers, and contribute directly to the Vancouver Aquariums operations as the pre-eminent non-partisan ocean conservation organization in Canada.