Trace metal dynamics in fishes from the southwest coast of India

Author(s): Rejomon G, Nair M, Joseph T


The concentration of Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb in the muscle tissue of marine fishes like Lates calcarifer, Nemipterus japonicus, Caranx melampygus, Rastrelliger kanagurta, and Cyanoglossus macrostomus was estimated from samples collected in the continental shelf waters off Kochi and Mangalore on southwest coast of India. Species-specific and spatially heterogeneous patterns of tissue metals loads were apparent within the pelagic and demersal fish species for the two regions. The concentration ranges of Fe (541.60 to 649.60 ppm), Ni (12.12 to 13.92 ppm), and Cu (3.09 to 3.62 ppm) were higher in the demersal species C. melampygus, whereas Co (9.10 to 11.80 ppm) and Zn (79.30 to 84.30 ppm) were higher in the pelagic species L. calcarifer and Cd (4.35 to 6.38 ppm) were higher in the demersal species N. japonicus, possibly due to enhanced bioavailability of these metals from ecological processes associated with upwelling during the summer monsoon. The fish species showed a great capacity to accumulate metals, with highest bioaccumulation for the essential element iron and lowest bioaccumulation for the non-essential element lead. Among the demersal species, C. melampygus and N. japonicus had high concentration factors for the metals Fe (280,268 to 322,808), Ni (88,252 to 96,891), Cu (2,351 to 2,600), and Cd (29,637 to 32,404). In contrast, the pelagic species L. calcarifer and R. kanagurta had high concentration factors for the metals Zn (40,812 to 46,892), Co (280,285 to 423,037), and Pb (854 to 1,404).

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