Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Biomagnification of Mercury and Selenium in Blue Shark Prionace glauca from the Pacific Ocean off Mexico

  • Published:
Biological Trace Element Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the biomagnification of mercury through the principal prey of the blue shark, Prionace glauca, off the western coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, as well as the relationship between mercury and selenium in blue sharks. High levels of mercury were found in shark muscle tissues (1.39 ± 1.58 μg/g wet weight); these values are above the allowed 1.0 μg/g for human consumption. The mercury to selenium molar ratio was 1:0.2. We found a low correlation between mercury bioaccumulation and shark size. Juveniles have lower concentrations of mercury than adults. Regarding the analyzed prey, the main prey of the blue shark, pelagic red crab, Pleuroncodes planipes, bioaccumulated 0.04 ± 0.01 μg/g Hg wet weight, but the prey with higher bioaccumulation was the bullet fish Auxis spp. (0.20 ± 0.02 μg/g wet weight). In terms of volume, the red crab P. planipes can be the prey that provides high levels of mercury to the blue shark.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. U.S. National Academy of Sciences (USNAS) (1978) An assessment of mercury in the environment. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C

    Google Scholar 

  2. Eisler R (2006) Mercury hazards to living organisms. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton

    Book  Google Scholar 

  3. Gray J (2002) Biomagnification in marine systems: the perspective of an ecologist. Mar Pollut Bull 45:46–52

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. NOM-027-SSA1 (1993) Norma Oficial Mexicana 1993. Bienes y Servicios. Productos de la pesca. Pescados frescos-refrigerados y congelados. Especificaciones sanitarias. Published: 17 de Junio de 1994

  5. Cuvin-Aralar LM, Furness RW (1991) Mercury and selenium interaction: a review. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 21:348–364

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Rayman MP (2000) The importance of selenium to human health. Lancet 356(9225):233–241

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Lim C, Klesius PH, Webster CD (2001) The role of dietary phosphorus, zinc, and selenium in fish health. In: Lim C, Webster C (eds) Nutrition and Fish Health. The Haworth Press Inc., New York, pp 201–209

    Google Scholar 

  8. Kaneko JJ, Ralston NVC (2007) Selenium and mercury in pelagic fish in the central north Pacific near Hawaii. Biol Trace Elem Res 119:242–254

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Flores-Arce MF (2008) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Selenium–Mercury interactions. Biol Trace Elem Res 119:193–194

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Carey FG, Scharold JV (1990) Movements of blue shark (Prionace glauca) in depth and course. Mar Biol 106:329–242

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hernández-Aguilar SB (2008) Espectro trófico del tiburón azul, Prionace glauca (Linnaeus, 1758) en la costa occidental de Baja California Sur, México. Master´s Thesis, CICIMAR-IPN, Mexico

  12. Vega-Villasante F, Nolasco H, Fallarero A, Carrillo-Farnes O (2002) Biochemical characterization of crude extract from Pleuroncodes planipes (Crustacea: Galatheidae) as potential feed additive, considerations for a new fishery along the Mexico Pacific Coast. Hidrobiológica 12(2):119–128

    Google Scholar 

  13. Allen GR, Robertson DR (1994) Peces del Pacífico Oriental Tropical. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. Agrupación Sierra Madre y CEMEX, México

    Google Scholar 

  14. Brusca RC (1980) Common intertidal in invertebrates of the Gulf of California, 2nd edn. The University of Arizona Press, USA

    Google Scholar 

  15. Fischer W, Krupp F, Schneider W, Sommer C, Carpenter KE, Niem VH (1995) Guía FAO para la identificación de peces para los fines de pesca. Pacífico Centro-Oriental, vol II y III, Vertebrados, Parte 1 and 2: 647–1813

  16. Iverson LK, Pinkas L (1971) A pictorial guide to beak of certain eastern Pacific cephalopods. California Department of Fish and Game. Fish Bull 152:83–105

    Google Scholar 

  17. Miller DJ, Lea RN (1972) Guide to the coastal marine fishes of California. California Department of Fish and Game. Fish Bull 157:249

    Google Scholar 

  18. Thomson DA, Findley LT, Kerstitch AN (2000) Reef fishes of the Sea of Cortez. The rocky-shore fishes of the Gulf of California. The University of Texas, New York

    Google Scholar 

  19. Wolff CA (1982) A beak key for eight eastern tropical Pacific cephalopods species, with relationship between their beak dimensions and size. Fish Bull 80(2):357–370

    Google Scholar 

  20. Wolff CA (1984) Identification and estimation of size from the beaks of eighteen species of cephalopods from the Pacific Ocean. NOAA Technical Report NMFS 17:50

    Google Scholar 

  21. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis, 4th edn. Prentice Hall, New Jersey

    Google Scholar 

  22. Carrera-Fernández M, Galván-Magaña F, Ceballos-Vásquez P (2010) Reproductive biology of the blue shark Prionace glauca (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae) off Baja California Sur, México. Aqua Int J Ichthyology 16(3):101–110

    Google Scholar 

  23. Blanco-Parra MP (2003) Edad y crecimiento del tiburón azul, Prionace glauca (Linnaeus 1758), en la costa occidental de Baja California Sur, México. Master’s Thesis, UNAM

  24. Shumilin E, Paez-Osuna F, Green-Ruiz C, Sapozhnikov D, Rodriguez-Meza GD, Godinez-Orta L (2001) Arsenic, antimony, selenium and other trace elements in sediments of the La Paz lagoon, Peninsula of Baja California, Mexico. Mar Pollut Bull 42:174–178

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Shumilin EN, Rodríguez-Figueroa G, Bermea OM, Baturina E, Hernández E, Meza GDR (2000) Anomalous trace element composition of coastal sediments near the copper mining district of Santa Rosalía, Península of Baja California, Mexico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 65:261–268

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Caputi N, Edmonds JS, Heald DI (1979) Mercury content of shark from south-western Australian waters. Mar Pollut Bull 10:337–340

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Lyle JM (1984) Mercury concentrations in four carcharhinid and three hammerhead sharks from coastal waters of the Northern Territory. Aust J Mar Freshw Res 35:441–452

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. Monteiro LR, Lopes HD (1990) Mercury content of swordfish, Xiphias gladius, in relation to length, weight, age, and sex. Mar Pollut Bull 21(6):293–296

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Adams HD, McMichael RH Jr (1999) Mercury levels in four species of sharks from the Atlantic coast of Florida. Fish Bull 97:372–379

    Google Scholar 

  30. Cadena-Cárdenas L (2004) Mercurio total en peces elasmobranquios y teleósteos del Golfo de California. Master’s Thesis, Instituto Tecnológico del Mar

  31. Pethybridge H, Cossa S, Butler ECV (2010) Mercury in 16 demersal sharks from southeast Australia: biotic and abiotic sources of variation and consumer health implications. Mar Environ Res 69:18–26

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Branco V, Canário J, Vale C, Raimundo J, Reis C (2004) Total and organic mercury concentrations in muscle tissue of the blue shark (Prionace glauca L. 1758) from the Northeast Atlantic. Mar Pollut Bull 49:854–874

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Mársico ET, Machado MES, Knoff M, São Clemente SC (2007) Total mercury in sharks along the southern Brazilian Coast. Arq Bras Med Vet Zootec 59:1593–1596

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Monteiro LR, Costa V, Furnes RW, Santos RS (1996) Mercury concentrations in prey fish indicate enhanced bioaccumulation in mesopelagic environments. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 141:21–25

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. Núñez-Nogueira G, Ordoñez JB, Rosiles MR (1998) Concentración y distribución de mercurio en tejidos del cazón (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) del Golfo de México. Vet Mex 29:15–20

    Google Scholar 

  36. Walker TI (1976) Effects of the species, sex, length, and locality on the mercury content of school shark Galeorhinus australis (Macleay) and gummy shark Mustelus antarticus (Gunther) from south-eastern Australian waters. Aust J Mar Freshw Res 270:603–616

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Watling JR, Mcclurg TT, Staton RC (1981) Relation between mercury concentration and size in the mako shark. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 26:352–358

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Lacerda LD, Paraquetti HHM, Marins RV, Rezende CE, Zalmon IR, Gomes M, Faria V (2000) Mercury content in shark species from the southeastern Brazilian coast. Rev Bras Biol 60(4):571–576

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. De Pinho AP, Guimarães JRD, Martins AS, Costa PAS, Olavo G, Valentin J (2002) Total mercury in muscle tissue of five shark species from Brazilian offshore waters: effects of feeding habit, sex, and length. Environ Res 89(3):250–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Ochoa-Acuña H, Sepúlveda MS, Gross TS (2002) Mercury in feathers from Chilean birds: influence of location, feeding strategy, and taxonomic affiliation. Mar Pollut Bull 44(4):340–345

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Lahaye V, Bustamante P, Spitz J, Dabin W, Das K, Pierce GJ, Caurant F (2005) Long-term dietary segregation of common dolphins Delphinus delphis in the Bay of Biscay, determined using cadmium as an ecological tracer. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 305:275–285

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. Markaida U, Sosa-Nishizaki O (2010) Food and feeding habits of the blue shark Prionace glauca caught off Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with a review on its feeding. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 1–18

  43. Burger J, Gochfeld M (2004) Mercury in canned tuna: white versus light and temporal variation. Environ Res 96:239–249

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Escobar-Sánchez O, Galván-Magaña F, Rosiles-Martínez R (2010) Mercury and selenium bioaccumulation in the smooth hammerhead shark, Sphyrna zygaena Linnaeus, from the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84(4):488–491

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Leonzio C, Focardi S, Fossi C (1992) Heavy metals and selenium in stranded dolphins of the northern Tyrrhenian (NW Mediterranean). Sci Total Environ 119:77–84

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  46. Cecilio P, Raimundo J, Canário J, Vale C, Sequeira M (2006) Relationships between total and organic mercury concentrations in tissues and length of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) from the Portuguese coast. Cienc Mar 32:379–387

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. Cabañero AI, Madrid Y, Cámara C (2007) Mercury-selenium species ratio in representative fish samples and their bioaccessibility by in vitro digestion method. Biol Trace Elem Res 119:195–211

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Wagemann R, Muir DGC (1984) Concentrations of heavy metals and organochlorines in marine mammals of northern waters: overview and evaluation. Can Tech Rep Fish Aquat Sci 1279:97

    Google Scholar 

  49. Nigro M, Leonzio C (1996) Intracellular storage of mercury and selenium in different marine vertebrates. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 135:137–143

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. Storelli MM, Marcotrigiano GO (2002) Mercury speciation and relationship between mercury and selenium in liver of Galeus melastomus from the Mediterranean Sea. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 69:516–522

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. Ruelas-Inzunza JR, Horvat M, Pérez-Cortés H, Páez-Osuna F (2003) Methylmercury and total mercury distribution in tissues of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) and spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) stayed along the lower Gulf of California, Mexico. Cienc Mar 29(1):1–8

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. Nicholas Ralston VC, Raymond LJ (2010) Dietary selenium´s protective effects against methylmercury toxicity. Toxicology 278(1):112–123

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Jaime Ballinas-Flores and MSc. Alfredo Ordiano-Flores for the support in the instrumentation of the toxicology laboratory (UNAM). OES thanks CONACYT and PIFI for the scholarships. FGM thanks COFAA and EDI for the support. We thank Laura Sampson for editing the English version of this manuscript and thanks to anonymous reviewers of the Biological Trace Element Research journal.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ofelia Escobar-Sánchez.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Escobar-Sánchez, O., Galván-Magaña, F. & Rosíles-Martínez, R. Biomagnification of Mercury and Selenium in Blue Shark Prionace glauca from the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. Biol Trace Elem Res 144, 550–559 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-011-9040-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-011-9040-y

Keywords

Navigation