Aquatic contaminants in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu: Evidence from passive samplers and Microtox toxicity assessment

2021-02-11

Water Quality issues in many Pacific countries are rising, with the increase in coastal populations and associated urban runoff but management requires contamination issues in the aquatic environment to be identified and prioritised. In Vanuatu and Solomon Islands there are few laboratories and resources to assess for the presence or impact of complex chemical contaminants. The extent and impact of chemical contamination of the marine and coastal environment is poorly described. Passive chemical samplers were used to measure a range of aquatic pollutants around the capital cities, Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Port Vila (Vanuatu). We detected a range of chemicals indicative of agricultural and industrial contamination and a few sites had concerning concentrations of specific hydrocarbons and pesticides. The rapid ecotoxicology test, Microtox, indicated toxic impacts in rivers, coastal sites and urban drains This work provides new data on chemical contamination and possible impacts of that contamination for both countries. The techniques could be applied widely across the region to generate critical data for environmental management, guide monitoring efforts and measure the impact of policy or land-use changes.

Authors: A J Smith, J Barber, S Davis, C Jones, K K Kotra, S Losada, B P Lyons, M Mataki, K D Potter, M J Devlin
; Full Source: Marine pollution bulletin 2021 Feb 11;165:112118. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112118.