Study links sludge dumping to damage to otters

A study of the Clyde estuary has concluded that sewage sludge dumping is harming the local otter population.1 The cause is believed to be the dispersal of PCB-contaminated sediment from the dumping site and concentration of the chemicals up the food chain.

Otter populations in Europe have declined drastically in the last 35 years. Zoologists blame pollution by organochlorine compounds, and PCBs are now believed to more significant than pesticides such as dieldrin, lindane and DDT.

As fish eaters, otters are particularly vulnerable to the effects of such contaminants, which accumulate in fatty tissues and bio-concentrate in the food chain.

Otters in Europe now survive only in sites remo

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