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Mercury and Selenium Bioaccumulation in the Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna zygaena Linnaeus, from the Mexican Pacific Ocean


We analyzed total mercury and selenium bioaccumulation in muscle tissue and cartilage fibers (fins) from smooth hammerhead shark, Sphyrna zygaena, caught off Baja California Sur, Mexico. In muscle tissue, the mercury concentration ranged from 0.005 to 1.93 μg g−1 ww (wet weight), which falls within the safety limits for food set by international agencies (Hg > 1.0 μg g−1 ww). Only one specimen showed a mercury value that exceeded this limit. In fins, the mercury bioaccumulation was lower (<0.05). Selenium in muscle ranged from 0.11 to 1.63 μg g−1 ww, while in fins it ranged from 0.13 to 0.56 μg g−1 ww.

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We thank Jaime Ballinas-Flores and M. Sc. Alfredo Ordiano-Flores for help in the use of analytical instrumentation. We would like to thank to the Toxicology Laboratory from UNAM and to IPN (PIFI and EDI) and CONACyT for support.

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Correspondence to O. Escobar-Sánchez.

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Escobar-Sánchez, O., Galván-Magaña, F. & Rosíles-Martínez, R. Mercury and Selenium Bioaccumulation in the Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Sphyrna zygaena Linnaeus, from the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 488–491 (2010).

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  • Bioaccumulation
  • Mercury
  • Selenium
  • Sphyrna zygaena