Metal concentrations in water, sediment, and fish from sewage-fed aquaculture ponds of Kolkata, India

Author(s): Adhikari S, Ghosh L, Rai SP, Ayyappan S


The concentrations of lead, cadmium, chromium, copper, and zinc were investigated in the sewage-fed pond water, sediment, and the various organs of Labeo rohita, Catla catla, Cirrhinus mrigala, Oreochromis mossambicus, and Cyprinus carpio cultured in sewage-fed ponds, Kolkata, India. Among the metals, cadmium, lead, and zinc were detected in water and, except lead, were below the water quality guideline levels for the protection of freshwater aquatic life proposed by CEQG (Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines) and AENV (Alberta Environment). Therefore, lead could pose danger to aquatic organisms. All the five metals were detected in the sediment and, except cadmium and lead, were below the sediment quality guideline levels for aquatic life proposed by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Therefore, these two metals could be toxic to aquatic organisms. Significant (P > 0.05) differences were observed among the five fish species for all these metals accumulation. Also, significant (P > 0.05) differences were noticed among these metals accumulation in fish organs. Cadmium showed the least bioaccumulation, while zinc showed the highest bioaccumulation in all the fish species. Though the metal concentration in the different fish tissues was variable, the highest concentration was found in kidney and the lowest in the muscle. Concentrations of these metals in the muscle tissue of all the fish species were well below the consumption safety tolerance in fish set by WHO/FAO, and thus, so far as these metals are concerned, these sewage-fed cultured fishes are safe and suitable for human consumption.

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