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Toxic Metals in Pelagic, Benthic and Demersal Fish Species from Mediterranean FAO Zone 37

Abstract

Fish represents a nutrient-rich food but, at the same time, is one of the most important contributor to the dietary intake of heavy metals. The aim of this study was to assess residual levels of Pb, Cd and Hg in different species, caught from FAO zones 37 1.3 and 37 2.2, particularly small pelagic, benthic and demersal fishes. The results obtained showed the absence of toxic metal in fishes from FAO zone 37 1.3. Relating to FAO zone 37 2.2, instead, in all samples we observed the absence of Pb, small concentrations of Cd (0.081 ± 0.022 mg/kg) and higher Hg residual levels (0.252 ± 0.033 mg/kg). Particularly, the trend of Cd contamination was similar in all species whereas Hg showed high levels in demersal, intermediate in pelagic and low in benthic species. However, only Cd concentrations exceed the MRL in mackerel, mullet, sea-bream fishes, according to Regulation CE n. 629/2008 and n. 488/2014.

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Correspondence to Nicola Cicero.

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Naccari, C., Cicero, N., Ferrantelli, V. et al. Toxic Metals in Pelagic, Benthic and Demersal Fish Species from Mediterranean FAO Zone 37. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95, 567–573 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-015-1585-6

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Keywords

  • Toxic metals
  • Pelagic
  • Benthic and demersal fishes
  • FAO zones