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Mercury content in fish from drinking-water reservoirs in the Morava River Basin (Czech Republic)


This study focused on the total mercury content in fish from seven drinking-water reservoirs located in the Morava River Basin: Bojkovice, Boskovice, Hubenov, Karolinka, Landstejn, Ludkovice and Nova Rise in the Czech Republic. A total of 308 fish were collected for the analysis. The content of total mercury was measured in the muscle tissue of bream, roach and perch using atomic absorption spectrometry and varied from 0.057±0.009 to 0.440 mg kg−1 in bream, from 0.030±0.005 to 0.393±0.138 mg kg−1 in roach and from 0.092±0.007 to 0.638±0.042 mg kg−1 in perch. The highest total mercury content was found in perch from Landstejn and the lowest was measured in roach from Ludkovice. A positive statistically significant relationship was found between fish weight and total mercury content in fish muscle for almost all species and all sampling sites, except for roach from Ludkovice. A total of 19 samples exceeded the maximum mercury level set by legislation on food contaminants—0.5 mg kg−1 in freshwater fish.

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Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. Some data analysed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files.


This study was supported by ITA VFU Brno (Project No. FVHE/Vecerek/ITA2020).

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Authors and Affiliations



KN was a major contributor in writing the manuscript and performed validation, mercury analysis and supervision, ZSi contributed in writing the manuscript, DH performed a statistical analysis and interpreted data, PJ performed a fish sampling, MK took samples from fish body and performed mercury analysis, ZSm took samples from fish body and performed mercury analysis and ZSv organized a research and performed supervision.

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kamila Novotna Kruzikova.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

Sampling of fish used in this study followed the routine monitoring schedule of drinking-water supply reservoirs by the Morava River Authority (Czech Republic) approval (official legislative Instruction MLVH ČSR č. j. 43 175/1357/OSS/77 a MZVž ČSR č.j. 554/77– 34, 31. 8. 1977).

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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Responsible Editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Novotna Kruzikova, K., Siroka, Z., Jurajda, P. et al. Mercury content in fish from drinking-water reservoirs in the Morava River Basin (Czech Republic). Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 17394–17405 (2022).

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  • Heavy metal
  • Total mercury
  • Bream
  • Roach
  • Perch
  • Morava River Basin