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Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification of Total Mercury in Four Exploited Shark Species in the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico

Abstract

The present study determined the average mercury bioaccumulation in the muscle tissue of four shark species (Carcharhinus falciformis, Prionace glauca, Sphyrna zygaena and Isurus oxyrinchus) captured in the Baja California Peninsula. We also evaluated biomagnification of some prey consumed by sharks. All sharks’ species had mercury levels over the limit specified by the Mexican government for human consumption. Blue shark (P. glauca) presented highest mercury values (1.96 ± 1.48 μg/g Hg d.w.) and it was the unique specie that showed a negative correlation with mercury content (Rs = −0.035, p = 0.91). Scomber japonicus was the prey with high content of mercury (0.57 ± 0.02 μg/g).

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (COFAA, EDI). This study is part of the Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR) project entitled “Ecology of sharks in the Gulf of California”. We thank laboratory personnel at the veterinary faculty of the UNAM.

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Correspondence to F. Galván-Magaña.

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Maz-Courrau, A., López-Vera, C., Galván-Magaña, F. et al. Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification of Total Mercury in Four Exploited Shark Species in the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 129–134 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-011-0499-1

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Keywords

  • Mercury
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biomagnification
  • Shark
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Mexico