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Oyster Saccostrea cucullata as a Biomonitor for Hg Contamination and the Risk to Humans on the Coast of Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf, Iran


A total of 174 individuals of rocky oysters (Saccostrea cucullata) and 35 surface sediment samples were collected from seven stations off the intertidal zones of Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf, in order to study the concentration of mercury in oysters’ tissues, and to investigate whether mercury concentrations in the edible soft tissues are within the permissible limits for public health. The average mercury concentrations were found as 3.44, 50.66 and 2.29 μg kg−1 dw in the sediments, soft tissues and shells of the oysters, respectively. Results indicated that the levels of mercury in sediment differed significantly between the stations. In addition, results confirmed that the soft tissues of oysters could be a good indicator of mercury in the aquatic system. In comparison with food safety standards, mercury levels in oysters were well within the permissible limits for human consumption.

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This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Iran, which provided partial funding for this project. We thank Miss Gafari, Miss Ebrahimi, and Mrs. Mortazavi from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University for their kind assistance in the collection of oyster samples.

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Correspondence to Alireza Riyahi Bakhtiari.

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Shirneshan, G., Bakhtiari, A.R., Kazemi, A. et al. Oyster Saccostrea cucullata as a Biomonitor for Hg Contamination and the Risk to Humans on the Coast of Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf, Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 962–966 (2012).

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  • Mercury
  • Surface sediment
  • Saccostrea cucullata
  • Qeshm Island
  • Persian Gulf