THE NUTRITIONAL AND ELEMENTAL CONTENTS OF FOUR COM- MERCIALLY IMPORTANT FISH SPECIES IN THE NIGERIAN COASTAL WATERSA.O. Osibona and G. R. Akande
The nutritional and elemental composition of four selected commercially important fish species, Clarias gariepinus, (Burchell, 1822), Tilapia zulu, (Gervais, I 848) Pseudotolithus typus (Bleaker, I 863) and Pentanemus quinquarius (Linnaeus, I 758) from Nigerian coastal waters were determined by analyzing the mineral content in the muscle using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The fish species were obtained from commercial catches at landing sites in Lekki, Epe, Lagos Lagoon and Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research jetty,Victoria Island, Lagos. The essential minerals, magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc contents of P typus were significantly (P<0.05) higher than those of the other three species.Toxic metals, namely cadmium, lead and mercury were accumulated in low concentration in the muscles of the four species examined. The results showed that the species examined had good nutritional values and could thus be good dietary sources for humans. Low levels of toxic metals suggest that he fish species are fit for consumption.
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