Butyltin compounds (BTs) including mono- (MBT), di- (DBT), tri-butyltin (TBT) and total tin (ΣSn), were determined in the liver of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) collected from Asian offshore waters (off-Japan, the Japan Sea, off-Taiwan, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, off-Philippines, off-Indonesia, the Bay of Bengal), off-Seychelles, off-Brazil and open seas (the North Pacific). BTs were detected in all the skipjack tuna collected, suggesting widespread contamination of BTs even in offshore waters and open seas on a global scale. Considering specific accumulation, Sex-, body length- differences and migration of skipjack tuna did not seem to affect BT concentrations, indicating rapid reflection of the pollution levels in seawater where and when they were collected. Skipjack tuna is a suitable bioindicator for monitoring the global distribution of BTs in offshore waters and open seas. High concentrations of BTs were observed in skipjack tuna from offshore waters around Japan, a highly developed and industrialized region (up to 400 ng/g wet weight). Moreover skipjack tuna collected from offshore waters around Asian developing countries also revealed the levels comparable to those in Japan (up to 270 ng/g wet weight) which may be due to the recent improvement in economic status in Asian developing countries. High percentages (almost 90%) of BTs in total tin (ΣSn: sum of inorganic tin+organic tin) were found in the liver of skipjack tuna from offshore waters around Asian developing countries. This finding suggests that the anthropogenic BTs represent the major source of Sn accumulation in skipjack tuna from these regions. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.
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