Exploring Spatial and Temporal Variations of Cadmium Concentrations in Pacific Oysters from British Columbia


email: jca76@sfu.ca


Summary Oysters from the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada, contain high levels of cadmium, in some cases exceeding some international food safety guidelines. A primary goal of this article is the investigation of the spatial and temporal variation in cadmium concentrations for oysters sampled from coastal British Columbia. Such information is important so that recommendations can be made as to where and when oysters can be cultured such that accumulation of cadmium within these oysters is minimized. Some modern statistical methods are applied to achieve this goal, including monotone spline smoothing, functional principal component analysis, and semi-parametric additive modeling. Oyster growth rates are estimated as the first derivatives of the monotone smoothing growth curves. Some important patterns in cadmium accumulation by oysters are observed. For example, most inland regions tend to have a higher level of cadmium concentration than most coastal regions, so more caution needs to be taken for shellfish aquaculture practices occurring in the inland regions. The semi-parametric additive modeling shows that oyster cadmium concentration decreases with oyster length, and oysters sampled at 7 m have higher average cadmium concentration than those sampled at 1 m.