Montara Well Release: Report on Necropsies from a Timor Sea Green Turtle
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• Necropsies were collected from a green turtle (Chelonia mydas) collected from Ashmore Reef in November 2009.• A total of eleven samples (4 muscle tissue samples, 2 gut content samples and 5 swab samples from external and internal surfaces) were analysed for the presence of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs - gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs – gas chromatography-mass spectrometry).• Expert examination of the chromatographic pattern produced in the TPH analysis allowed the qualitative assessment of whether the source of the compounds was of petrogenic or biological (e.g., fatty acids, cholesterol) origin, as both hydrocarbon types co-extract in the sample extraction process.• Where TPH was detected in the samples the chromatographic patterns indicated that these were from biogenic origin.• PAHs were not detected in any of the samples analysed.• There was no evidence that the sea turtle had been exposed to crude oil from the Montara well release either pre- or post mortem.
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