Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 113–118 | Cite as

Heavy metal pollution in Suva harbour sediments, Fiji

  • M. Maata
  • S. Singh
Original Paper


In Fiji, contamination of the coastal environment by heavy metals is proving to be a real concern. This work reports for the first time analyses carried out on an extensive basis, to ascertain the extent of anthropogenic contamination by heavy metals in the <0.063 mm surface sediments of Suva harbour. Sediment samples from 40 sites selected within the harbour were collected and analysed for five heavy metals. The levels of the metals range from 21.4 to 143.0 ± 0.1 mg/kg Cu, 1.40 to 4.87 ± 0.07 wt.% Fe, 22.1 to 93.5 ± 0.3 mg/kg Pb, 40.2 to 269.0 ± 0.3 mg/kg Zn and 1.1 to 2.6 ± 0.2 mg/kg Sn. With reference to the pristine area of the Great Astrolabe, in Kadavu, the acquired data from the harbour are indicative of heavy metal pollution. This could be attributed to the numerous industrial and commercial activities at Wailada and Walu Bay industrial areas, the municipal dump located at the Suva foreshore and the Suva wharf. The pollution is further compounded by the high population density in Suva city.


Fiji Heavy metal pollution Sediments Coastal environment 



The authors wish to acknowledge the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Programme (C-SPOD) for sponsoring the research through the provision of a postgraduate scholarship to Ms. Sandeep. K. Singh. The authors thank Dr. Marie Ferland of the Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington, USA and Mr. Russell Maharaj of the South Pacific Geo-Science Commission for their contributions in the supervision of the research and Dr. James Renwick of NIWA (Wellington), New Zealand, for his assistance with PCA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of the South PacificSuvaFiji
  2. 2.International Waters Program, Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Squatter Settlement and EnvironmentSuvaFiji

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