Marine Life Sample Collection Procedures

For the GC HARMS Project
A Collaboration of:
Subra Company/Louisiana Environmental Action Network
UTMB Center for Environmental Toxicology

Presentation by:
Wilma Subra
Subra Company/Louisiana Environmental Action Network
P. O. Box 9813 New Iberia, LA 70562
337-367-2216
subracom@aol.com

Marine Life Sample Collection Procedures for GC-HARMS

A. Introduction

Community members with subsistence/commercial fishing experience will be trained to perform sampling protocols for the collection of marine species and the preparation of the collected marine species samples for shipment to the laboratory for analysis. Marine species designated to be collected consist of oysters, blue crabs, brown / white shrimp. Marine species samples are to be transferred to UTMB staff, who will transport the marine species samples to University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston TX

B. Sampling Materials

Stainless steel sampling tools such as spoons, spatulas, oyster knives, and cutting tool will be used to process the marine species.  Wash the sampling tools with detergent, rinse well and then rinse twice with distilled water, air dry and wrap in aluminum foil. Wrap the sampling tools in sufficient foil to have a working area of foil when the sampling tool is opened at the sampling location.

Pack the following materials for the sampling trip:

  • Sampling tools wrapped in aluminum foil (adequate number of tool for each anticipated station plus extra tools)
  • Chain of Custody forms and clip board to facilitate writing on the Chain of Custody forms
  • Field Observation Forms and separate clip board
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Aluminum Foil-extra strength
  • GPS unit
  • Camera
  • Thermometer
  • Paper towels
  • Ink pens
  • Labels
  • Zip Lock bags to enclose the samples once the samples are collected
  • Garbage bags to double wrap the samples at the end of the sampling event and to collect garbage
  • Two Ice chests with sufficient ice to ice down all of the samples to be collected during the sampling event
  • Separate Ice chest for cool liquids, do not mix samples with cool liquids in ice chests

If UTMB is to obtain the marine species from commercial fishermen and UTMB is to process and package the samples, UTMB will provide the sampling materials. The commercial fishermen will be provided with the aluminum foil in which to package the tissue samples.

C. Sample Collection

Upon arrival at a location to be sampled, designate and record station number, date, time and GPS readings on the Field Observation Form. Complete all sample label information to be used at the station location. Describe sample location and sample species on the Field Observation Form.

Take photographs of area sampled. Record water temperature on the Field Observation Form (if available).

If UTMB is to obtain the marine species from commercial fishermen on his vessel and UTMB is to process and package the samples, UTMB will assist the commercial fisherman in filling out the Field Observation Form, sample label information, taking photographs.  UTMB will also assist in filling out the Chain of Custody form and UTMB will take custody of the samples from the commercial fishermen and complete the processing of the samples. Otherwise, this process will be the responsibility of the fishermen engaged in sampling activities.

Tissue Samples

Collect tissue sample and triple wrap in aluminum foil.  Label the aluminum foil tissue sample and insert into Zip Lock bag. Seal the Zip Lock bag.

Oyster Samples

Harvest a cluster of oysters from one location. Take a photo or two of the cluster. Wear a clean set of Nitrile gloves when preparing each sample. Change gloves between species and locations. Place the cluster of oysters on a layer of aluminum foil and take a second set of photos. Unwrap a clean oyster knife and spread out the aluminum foil as a working area. Open the oysters and transfer the oysters onto aluminum foil. A sample of oysters should consist of 20 oysters, depending on the size of the oysters. Triple wrap the oyster sample in aluminum foil and place the completed label on the outer layer of aluminum foil. Places the aluminum foil wrapped oyster sample in a Zip Lock bag and seal the bag.

Fill out the Chain of Custody form for the tissue sample collected. Place the samples on ice and store at 4C.

Shrimp Samples

Harvest shrimp by trawling in one area. Record the GPS readings from the area trawled. Open the trawl and take photos of the contents of the trawl. Wear a clean set of Nitrile gloves when preparing each sample. Change gloves between species and locations. Select the shrimp to be sampled and place approximately a pound of shrimp on a layer of aluminum foil. Take photographs of the shrimp on the aluminum foil. The entire shrimp including the heads are to be used as samples. Transfer the shrimp onto a clean layer of aluminum foil to contain the shrimp sample. Fold the aluminum foil around the sample. Wrap the sample with an additional two layers of aluminum foil. Label the outer foil layer, transfer into a Zip Lock bag and seal the bag.

Fill out the Chain of Custody form for the tissue sample collected. Place the samples on ice and store at 4C.

Blue Crabs

Harvest blue crabs from crab traps or by other means. Take photos of the crab traps. Wear a clean set of Nitrile gloves when preparing the sample. Change gloves between species and locations. Place approximately 6 to 8 blue crabs on a layer of aluminum foil. Take photos of the blue crabs on the foil layer. The entire crab is to be used as a sample. Fold the aluminum foil around the sample. Wrap each sample with an additional two layers of aluminum foil. Label the outer foil layer and transfer into a Zip Lock bag. Seal the Zip Lock bag.

Fill out the Chain of Custody form for the tissue sample collected. Place the samples on ice and store at 4C.

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