Mercury Concentrations in Pacific Angel Sharks (Squatina californica) and Prey Fishes from Southern Gulf of California, Mexico

  • O. Escobar-Sánchez
  • J. Ruelas-Inzunza
  • X. G. Moreno-Sánchez
  • A. K. Romo-Piñera
  • M. G. Frías-Espericueta


Concentrations of mercury (Hg) were quantified in muscle tissues of the Pacific angel shark, Squatina californica sampled from Southern Gulf of California, Mexico, considering total length, sex, diet and the dietary risk assessment. High Hg levels are typically associated with carnivorous fishes, however S. californica showed low Hg concentrations (<1.0 µg g−1) in muscle (0.24 ± 0.27 µg g−1 wet weight; n = 94). No effect of sex, total length and weight on Hg concentrations were observed in the shark (p > 0.05). Hg concentrations were highest in the darkedge mishipman: Porichthys analis (0.14 ± 0.08 µg g−1) and red-eye round herring Etrumeus teres (0.13 ± 0.05 µg g−1) relative to other prey species, which could suggest that Hg concentrations in S. californica were influenced by these species. Given the relatively low concentration of Hg across age-classes and sex, consumption of S. californica’s muscle tissue poses limited risk to humans.


Trace element Biomagnification Elasmobranch Squatinidae Porichthys analis 



Thanks to Alejandro Escobar and Alejandra Espinoza for their help during the sampling and Manuel Soto for their help in the laboratory analysis. OES gratefully acknowledges the scholarship from PROMEP to pursue her postgraduate studies and thanks CONACyT for economic support through the program Cátedra CONACyT, Project 2137, FACIMAR-UAS. XGMS thanks the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) for economic support through the Contratación por Excelencia Program and EDI.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Escobar-Sánchez
    • 1
  • J. Ruelas-Inzunza
    • 2
  • X. G. Moreno-Sánchez
    • 3
  • A. K. Romo-Piñera
    • 4
  • M. G. Frías-Espericueta
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias del MarUniversidad Autónoma de SinaloaMazatlánMexico
  2. 2.Instituto Tecnológico de MazatlánMazatlánMexico
  3. 3.Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN)La PazMexico
  4. 4.Universidad Autónoma de Baja California SurLa PazMexico

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