Differential Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Muscle and Liver of a Marine Fish, (King Mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla Cuvier) from the Northern Gulf of Mexico, USA

  • D. M. Ploetz
  • B. E. Fitts
  • T. M. RiceEmail author

Levels of heavy metals such as lead, copper, cadmium, and zinc in marine fish have been extensively documented in the primary literature (e.g., Jureša and Blanuša 2003; Roméo et al. 1999; Zauke et al. 1999). These metals tend to distribute differentially in liver and muscle, most likely because of metal-binding proteins such as metallothioneins in certain organs of fish (Atli and Canli 2003; De Smet et al. 2001; Hamilton and Mehrle 1986; Roesijadi 1992). These proteins bind copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and zinc (Zn), but not lead (Pb), allowing organs such as the liver to accumulate higher levels of metals than other organs such as muscle.

Only a few monitoring studies have measured heavy metals in fish species found in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (Feldhausen and Johnson 1983; Hanson 1997; Vazquez et al. 2001). The current study measured Pb, Cu, Cd, and Zn levels in muscle fillet and liver of king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), a large (>1,500-mm fork length) reef-associated fish...


Environmental Protection Agency Fork Length Heavy Metal Level Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake Liver Level 
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The authors acknowledge the Alabama JAYCEES for providing specimens, Dr. Eugene Cioffi of the Department of Chemistry, University of South Alabama, for access to instrumentation, Dr. William Patterson, University of West Florida, for providing the initial genesis for this project, and the University of South Alabama Center for Undergraduate Research for providing a stipend to Danielle M. Ploetz.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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