Mercury levels in muscle tissue of four common elasmobranch species from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Central America

Sandoval-Herrera, Natalia Ivone, Vargas-Soto, Juan Sebastián, Espinoza, Mario, Clarke, Tayler M., Fisk, Aaron T., and Wehrtmann, Ingo S. (2016) Mercury levels in muscle tissue of four common elasmobranch species from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Central America. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 3. pp. 254-261.

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Mercury (Hg) is a non-essential and toxic element that is ubiquitous in the marine environment and biomagnifies through food webs. Given the high trophic position of many elasmobranch species, it is important to quantify potentially harmful trace elements like Hg in their tissues, as this is an indicator of the level of contamination in the ecosystem. This study provides the first examination of total mercury (THg) concentrations in muscle tissue of four common demersal elasmobranchs (Mustelus henlei, Raja velezi, Torpedo peruana and Zapteryx xyster) from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. All four species showed a positive relationship between THg concentration and body size, but THg concentration did not vary with trophic position. Torpedo peruana showed the highest THg concentration (mean ± SD: 0.52 ± 0.25 mg/kg wet weight) but ZZ. xyster had the highest slope for the THg-size relationship. The THg concentrations found in this study were lower than those reported for similar elasmobranch species in other regions, and only one sample exceeded the concentration limit suggested for human consumption. Our results suggest that THg contamination off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and possibly Central America is minimal.

Item ID: 49247
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2352-4855
Keywords: demersal elasmobranchs; mesopredators; bioaccumulation; biomagnification; trace metals; marine pollution
Funders: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de Costa Rica (CONICIT), Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR)
Projects and Grants: CONCIT no. FI-449-2010, UCR VI project N° 808-B0-536, UCR VI project N° 808-B1-547, UCR VI project N° 808-B1-537, UCR VI project N° 111-A4-508
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 00:18
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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