Benson, Nsikak U. and Essien, Joseph P. and Williams, Akan B. and Bassey, David E.
Mercury accumulation in fishes from tropical
aquatic ecosystems in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.
CURRENT SCIENCE, 92 (6).
Fishes are important biomarkers of trace elements in
aquatic ecosystems, and are used to evaluate the status
of water pollution by mercury in tropical aquatic ecosystems in Nigeria. Common fishes, Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus,Brycinus nurse, Hemichromis fasciatus,
Lutianus ava, Oreochromis nilotica, Pomadasys jubelini,
Stellifer stellifer and Tilapia guineensis were analysed
for Hg accumulation using the cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry technique. The results
showed that Hg concentration in P. jubelini was relatively
the highest, with a mean concentration of 0.063 ± 0.03 mg kg–1. Other concentration values were 0.044 ± 0.031 mg kg–1 for O. nilotica, 0.026 ± 0.013 mg kg–1 for B. nurse, 0.034 ± 0.034 mg kg–1 for H. fasciatus, 0.023 ± 0.020 mg kg–1 for C. nigrodigitatus and 0.33 ± 0.016 mg kg–1 for L. ava. Concentrations of Hg accumulated by the fishes were low and within internationally accepted limit, not likely to cause mercury poisoning. Because of the high Hg accumulating potential of P. jubelini, it is recommended as a biomarker for assessment of Hg toxicity in a tropical aquatic environment.
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