Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Océanographique et des Pêches

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This paper aimed at assessing total mercury concentration in seven common fish species (Auxis rochei, Caranx rhonchus, Sardina pilchardus, Sardinella aurita, Sardinella maderensis, Scomber colias and Trachurus trecae) and a relationship between Hg organotropism and food regimes along the Mauritanian Atlantic coast. Results show that total mercury concentration in fish collected along five sites ranged from 0.027 to 0.533 mg/kg dry weight. Significant differences were observed among species depending on feeding behavior. Muscle tissues of carnivorous fish presented significantly higher levels of total mercury than that of omnivorous fish, except for Scomber colias, suggesting mercury biomagnification through the food chain. Significant differences in mercury concentrations were observed between muscle tissues and liver, for Auxis rochei, Trachurus trecae, and Caranx rhonchus.

The mean concentrations in the different species are however low and none of the concentration values exceed the World Health Organization’s threshold for human consumption.

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