Total and Methyl Mercury Concentrations in Antarctic Toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni): Health Risk Assessment

  • Minchul Yoon
  • Mi Ra Jo
  • Poong Ho Kim
  • Woo Seok Choi
  • Sang In Kang
  • Seok Gwan Choi
  • Jong Hee Lee
  • Hee Chung Lee
  • Kwang Tae Son
  • Jong Soo Mok


The concentrations of total mercury (THg) in different organs of the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) collected from CCAMLR research blocks in Subarea 88.3 and Division 58.4.1 off the coast of Antarctica were determined. The results revealed THg concentrations of 0.165 ± 0.095 mg/kg (0.023–0.454 mg/kg, wet weight) in the Antarctic toothfish. In muscle, methyl mercury (MeHg) accounted for approximately 40% of the THg. In a comparison analysis, muscle and liver tended to bioaccumulate the highest levels of THg, and both THg and MeHg contents showed correlations with fish length and weight. Compared with international guidelines, fish contained 2.5–6.4% and 4.0–10.3% of the provisional tolerable weekly intake for THg recommended by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and the tolerable weekly intake for MeHg proposed by the European Food Safety Authority, respectively. These results suggest that consumption of the Antarctic toothfish presents no health risk to humans.


Antarctic toothfish Dissostichus mawsoni Total mercury Methylmercury International guidelines 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science in Korea (R2018056).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Safety and Processing Research DivisionNational Institute of Fisheries ScienceBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.South-East Sea Fisheries Research InstituteNational Institute of Fisheries ScienceTongyeongRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Seafood and Aquaculture Science/Institute of Marine IndustryGyeongsang National UniversityTongyeongRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Distant-Water Fisheries Resources DivisionNational Institute of Fisheries ScienceBusanRepublic of Korea

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