A Histological Examination of the Ovaries of Pacific Sanddab, Citharichthys sordidus, Captured at Two Oil Platforms and Two Natural Sites in the Southern California Bight
Love, Milton S.
Goldberg, Stephen R.
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A number of the 26 offshore oil and gas platforms off California may be nearing the end of their economic lives. Decisions as to the disposition of these platforms will be based on a number of parameters, including the biological role of the structures. One issue that has arisen is the possible contamination of fishes living around platforms resulting from contaminants released during drilling and production. If significant contamination is occurring, it would be expected to impair the reproductive abilities of impacted fishes. One form of reproductive impairment is atresia, the abnormal reabsorption of oocytes that are destined to be spawned. Atresia has been widely used as an indicator of pollutant-related reproductive impairment in fishes. We examined the occurrence of atretic oocytes in Pacific sanddab, Citharichthys sordidus, collected near two offshore platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel (B and Gilda) and from two natural reference sites (off the east end of Santa Cruz Island and in mid-channel off Rincon). While pronounced atresia was observed in a few fish at one natural site and one platform, there was no evidence of widespread pronounced atresia at any of the four sites.