Sea-run Char Monitoring Program

Temporal trends and spatial variations in persistent organic pollutants and metals in sea-run char from the Canadian Arctic

Local Contact:
Liz Pijogge
Nain Research Centre
Project Contact:
Marlene Evans
Environment Canada


The purpose of this Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) funded study is to understand how concentrations of mercury are changing over time in sea-run Arctic char and if trends are similar across the Canadian Arctic.

All sample collection is done by local harvesters and coordinated by the Nain Research Centre. Harvested char are brought to the Research Centre, where the samples are documented, packaged and shipped to the National Water Research Institute in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for analysis.

Current results show that concentrations of mercury in sea-run char from Nunatsiavut are very low and char are a healthy and safe choice of country food for Nunatsiavvimiut.
This project partners with the Youth Outreach Program and the Nain Community Freezer. Youth from the program participate in the harvesting and sample preparation, with all char, after sampling, going to the community freezer.

The larger NCP project currently involves annual sampling at Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet using the same methods.