We analyzed mercury (Hg) concentrations in muscle and liver samples of star-spotted dogfish (Mustelus manazo) caught off the northern region of Japan and compared them with those of spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) caught in the same region. The average body length of male star-spotted dogfish specimens was significantly smaller than that of female specimens, reflecting the slower growth rate of male fish. Hg concentrations in liver and muscle increased with increases in body length and estimated age of both male and female star-spotted dogfish specimens. However, the relationships between Hg concentration in liver or muscle and body length or estimated age of male specimens differed markedly from those of female specimens, reflecting differences in growth rate and cessation of growth on reaching maturity. Marked increases in Hg concentration in liver of male and female star-spotted dogfish specimens were observed slightly later than increases in Hg concentration in muscle of those specimens due to growth cessation. These marked increases in Hg in liver may reflect increases in Hg due to the formation of mercury selenide. Similar results were previously reported in spiny dogfish specimens, except spiny dogfish showed only trace levels of Hg in liver (Endo et al., Chemosphere 77:1333–1337, 2009). The greater lipid content in liver and the larger liver size in spiny dogfish may explain the much lower levels of Hg observed in liver of spiny dogfish compared with those in the star-spotted dogfish.
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This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grants No. B24310049 and C21590135). Stable isotope analyses were performed using a Joint Use/Research Grant of Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan).
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Endo, T., Hisamichi, Y., Kimura, O. et al. Levels of Mercury in Muscle and Liver of Star-Spotted Dogfish (Mustelus manazo) from the Northern Region of Japan: A Comparison with Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 64, 467–474 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-012-9858-0