Determination of the Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation Patterns in Muscles of Two Species of Mullets from the Southern Caspian Sea
Mora Medina, Rafael
Ayala Soldado, Nahúm
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Although fish is a food that supplies nutrients of a high biological value, they can also be a source of some harmful substances, such as heavy metals. In the same context, some human activities in the Caspian Sea have contaminated this ecosystem during the past few years. For those reasons, our objective consisted of determining the concentrations of heavy metals and evaluating their bioaccumulation patterns in the different types of musculature in two species of mullets of commercial interest, Chelon auratus and Chelon saliens, from the southern coast of this sea. For this purpose, 20 C. auratus and 29 C. saliens were caught off this coastline and the metal concentrations in 3 different muscle locations were analyzed: the ventral, dorsal and caudal muscles of each fish. The caudal muscle had higher concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn, whereas As, Hg and Ni accumulation seemed to be independent of the musculature type. Overall, the Cd, Hg, and Pb concentrations exceeded the maximum levels permitted in fish by the European Union. In addition, the relationships between pairs of metals were positive and elevated in all the cases, which could be a sign of heavy metal pollution in the region sampled. Therefore, it will be necessary to continue monitoring and evaluating the degree of pollution in the Caspian Sea.