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Element levels in cultured and wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) from the Adriatic Sea and potential risk assessment

Abstract

In this study, the role of aquaculture activity as a source of selected metals was analyzed. Significant differences in element content between cultured (Dicentrarchus labrax, Sparus aurata) and wild fishes as well as between fish muscle and their feed were detected. Higher concentrations of trace elements (i.e., As, Cu, Hg, Se) in wild fish tissues in comparison with cultured ones indicate additional sources of metals beside fish feed as natural and/or anthropogenic sources. Generally, mean Cd, Cu, Pb, Se, and Zn concentrations in cultured (0.016, 1.79, 0.14, 0.87, and 34.32 μg/g, respectively) and wild (0.011, 1.97, 0.10, 1.78, and 23,54 μg/g, respectively) fish samples were below the permissible levels, while mean As (2.57 μg/g in cultured, 4.77 μg/g in wild) and Cr (5.25 μg/g in cultured, 2.92 μg/g in wild) values exceeded those limits. Hg values were lower in cultured (0.17 μg/g) and higher in wild (1.04 μg/g) fish specimens. The highest elemental concentrations were observed in almost all fish samples from Korčula sampling site. The smallest cultured sea basses showed As (4.01 μg/g), Cr (49.10 μg/g), Pb (0.65 μg/g), and Zn (136 μg/g) concentrations above the recommended limits; however, values decreased as fish size increased. Therefore, the majority of metal concentrations in commercial fishes showed no problems for human consumption. Also calculated Se:Hg molar ratios (all >1) and selenium health benefit values (Se-HBVs) (all positive) showed that consumption of all observed fishes in human nutrition is not risk.

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Acknowledgments

The research was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Republic of Slovenia (Bilateral projects between Croatia and Slovenia 2001–2009), the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), and Geoexp, d.o.o., Tržič, Slovenia. Thanks are also due to my husband Boštjan Rožič for his technical and moral support.

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Žvab Rožič, P., Dolenec, T., Baždarić, B. et al. Element levels in cultured and wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) from the Adriatic Sea and potential risk assessment. Environ Geochem Health 36, 19–39 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-013-9516-0

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Keywords

  • Element content
  • Cultured and wild fish
  • Sea bass and gilthead sea bream
  • Risk assessment
  • Adriatic Sea