Surface and core sediments collected from six fish farms in Hong Kong and from reference sites were investigated for the enrichment and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Moderately high ∑PAH16 levels (123-947 ng g-1, mean: 450 ng g-1) were found in the surface aquaculture sediments. In comparison with the sediments from the reference sites, the average enrichment percentage of total organic carbon (TOC) and PAHs in surface sediments were 21.4 and 43.8%, respectively, and in the core sediments, 24.6 and 73.7%, respectively. Mathematical source apportionment analyses (i.e. isomer ratios, hierarchical cluster analysis, principal components analysis with multiple linear regression analysis) suggested a higher percentage of petrogenic sources in aquaculture sediments. The fish feeds might be the main source of the enriched PAHs in the aquaculture sediments. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that PAHs in aquaculture sediments could be attributed to human aquaculture activities.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Source apportionments
- Vertical distribution