Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.09, Issue 02, 2003; Page No.(239-243)

MERCURY AND ZINC METAL LEVELS IN TISSUES OF FOUR EDIBLE LAGOON FISH SPECIES FROM BAIN DES DAMES, MAURITIUS.

S.BHAGWANT

Abstract

This preliminary study reports on the bioaccumulation of mercury and zinc metals in gills, muscles, liver and gut of four different fish species namely, Acanthurus triostegus,Abudefduf saxatilis, Siganus sutor and Epinephelus merro from Bain des Dames. Analysis of metals were carried out by flame and vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results of this study indicate interspecies differences, which could be attributed to the feeding and behavioural habits of the species. Zinc levels varied among organ/tissue samples with high concentration found in the liver compared to muscle and other organ tissue samples. However, zinc contents in the four fish species are below the recommended permissible limit and hence, do not constitute a health risk problem. Contrarily, the levels of mercury found in different parts of selected fish species merit consideration and close monitoring of the region. Furthermore, Hg contents in liver and gut samples of E.merra were higher than the prescribed permissible limit; whereas, that of muscle sample was below the prescribed limit and hence, safe for consumption.

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