TEAM KAMPELA COOPERATION WITH THE FINNISH INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH
Since year 2001 Team Kampela has been helping the Finnish Institute of Marine Research in their study of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) a producer of nodularin (a cancer-inducing substance and a highly effective liver toxin). Team Kampela has been providing FIMR with mussel- and flounder liver samples, in which the nodularin typically accumulates. The samples are gathered each year from July, (after the blooming of the blue-green algae) to October.
The mussel samples are always dived from three different depths from the same underwater rock wall. Usually the samples are from 1, 5 and 10 meters depths. The mussels are gently removed from the rock and the mussels from different depths are put into separate plastic bags. Each sample has approximately 150-200 mussels from one depth. The sample bags are provided with information that includes the date, the water temperature, the diving depth of the sample and the coordinates of the diving spot. The samples are held in ice in a cool box during the transportation to the shore. From the home freezer the samples are finally delivered to the sample room of the Finnish Institute of Marine Research.
The flounders eat the mussels, and the possible toxin in the mussels accumulates in to their livers. The flounder liver samples are taken from the fish that we catch during spearfishing. Usually there should be at least ten individual fish in one sample to be able to avoid the distortion of the sample. Otherwise one fish with high value of nodularin in its liver could twist the information badly. It is not always easy to catch ten flounders in one day by spearfishing during the autumn. The spearfishing competitions, which are held in Finland, help us to be able to deliver these samples. Usually after the competition there are more than ten flounders in the catch from which we can remove the flounders for preparing the samples.
Our contact person and the researcher in this project in the Finnish Institute of Marine Research is Mr. Vesa Sipiä. He has provided us with more accurate information concerning their research project. For those who are interested in the Baltic Sea in general or seeks for specific information of marine environment in Finland we have added a link to the Finnish Institute of Marine Research home page, it is worth visiting. http://www2.fimr.fi/fi.html
RESEARCH PROJECT FOR CYANOBACTERIAL HEPATOTOXINS IN FIMR by Vesa Sipiä
Cyanobacterial hepatotoxins have been studied since 1997 in the Finnish Institute of Marine Research (FIMR). Toxic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena, producer of nodularin (NODLN, a pentapeptide hepatotoxin), occurs regularly during the summer season in the semi-closed and strongly eutrophicated brackish Baltic Sea. N. spumigena has caused several cases of animal poisonings, e.g. of dogs, cattle and ducks in the southern Baltic Sea area. NODLN content in algal samples has ranged from <100 mg/kg up to about 8 g/kg dry weight (dw). Nodularin has been found in several fish (flounder, salmon, three-spined stickleback and herring) and mussel species caught from the northern Baltic Sea during summer 1997-2002. In addition, recent studies indicated that nodularin was detected also in the Baltic Sea eiders. Until now, NODLN content in samples have varied from less than 10 mg/kg dry weight (dw) up to 2 mg/kg dw. Lethal death LD50- value for NODLN is about 50 mg/kg (mouse test, intraperitoneally exposed). However, about 50-200 times higher exposure levels are needed for the oral exposures to get the equal mortality. World health Organization has estimated that Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI)- value for microcystins (related toxins to NODLN) is about 40 ng/kg.
At the moment research project in FIMR (Chemistry Department) has three main aims for the study of cyanobacterial hepatotoxins (mainly nodularin): 1) find out the sedimentation dynamics of N. spumigena, 2) analyze various kind of animals (primarily fish, mussels and bottom fauna) in the Baltic Sea food chains for nodularin; accumulation and detoxication of nodularin in samples , 3) compare the analytical methods for their sensitivity by intercalibration with other research laboratories.
FIMR has been in co-operation with diving expert group Team Kampela since 2001. Team Kampela has been very helpfull to FIMR by diving the algal, mussel and flounder samples from varying depths. Their contribution has been very important NODLN content in vertically dived mussels has been, and still is, of interest in FIMR.
FIMR has much co-operation with other research authorities like e.g. with Helsinki University, Finnish Game and Fishery Research Institute, Åbo Akademi University, Porto University (Potugal), Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland) and the Institute of Freshwater ecology and Inland Fisheries (Germany).