A. B. Bauer, T. Paiva, C. A. Barboza
Mar 2, 2021
Biological Trace Element Research
Mercury (Hg) contamination has caused ecological and socioeconomic problems worldwide. One of the main Hg contamination routes by the human populations is through fish ingestion. Herein, we analyzed the total Hg concentrations (THg) in highly consumed marine fish species: Brazilian flathead Percophis brasiliensis, Atlantic bigeye Priacanthus arenatus, Stripped weakfish Cynoscion guatucupa, and Jamaica weakfish C. jamaicensis. The specimens were collected from fishing landings off the Rio de Janeiro, SW Atlantic. Additionally, we calculate the estimated weekly intakes (EWI) and the maximum amount of fish (MAF) that can be safely ingested, both based on the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). The highest THg concentrations were recorded in P. brasiliensis with a mean of 340.59 μg/kg (dry weight) and the lowest in P. arenatus (115.75 μg/kg). THg concentrations were positively related to the δ15N ratios indicating an increase in contamination with trophic level. All samples showed THg concentrations below the established limits by Brazilian and international regulation. Hg intake via human fish consumption does not exceed the PTWI. The EWI varied from 1.41% (P. arenatus size class I) to 11.52% (P. brasiliensis class II) of the PTWI, while the estimated EWI for "fish consumers" varied between 8.35 and 68.07% PTWI. The MAF estimated for an adult (70 kg) could safely consume between 1277.85 and 7075.50 g/week. This study is an important baseline for monitoring and future comparisons. Therefore, it is important to maintain monitoring of mercury levels in fish species in different marine regions, especially those species most consumed by humans.