The influence of mariculture on mercury distribution in sediments and fish around Hong Kong and adjacent mainland China waters.

Abstract

To study the influence of mariculture on mercury (Hg) speciation and distribution in sediments and cultured fish around Hong Kong and adjacent mainland China waters, sediment samples were collected from six mariculture sites and the corresponding reference sites, 200-300 m away from the mariculture sites. Mariculture activities increased total mercury, organic matter, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur concentrations in the surface sediments underneath mariculture sites, possibly due to the accumulation of unconsumed fish feed and fish excretion. However, methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations and the ratio of MeHg to THg (% MeHg) in sediments underneath mariculture sites were lower than the corresponding reference sites. The % MeHg in sediments was negatively correlated (r = -0.579, p < 0.05) with organic matter (OM) content among all sites, indicating that OM may have inhibited Hg methylation in surface sediments. Three mariculture fish species were collected from each mariculture site, including red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides) and snubnose pompano (Trachinotus blochii). The average MeHg concentration in fish muscle was 75 μg kg⁻¹ (wet weight), and the dietary intake of MeHg through fish consumption for Hong Kong residents was 0.37 μg kg⁻¹ week⁻¹, which was lower than the corresponding WHO limits (500 μg kg⁻¹ and 1.6 μg kg⁻¹ week⁻¹).

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.10.061

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Cite this paper

@article{Liang2011TheIO, title={The influence of mariculture on mercury distribution in sediments and fish around Hong Kong and adjacent mainland China waters.}, author={Peng Liang and Ding-ding Shao and Shengchun Wu and Jianbo Shi and Xiao-lin Sun and Fu-yong Wu and Samuel Chun Lap Lo and Wen-Xiong Wang and Ming-hung Wong}, journal={Chemosphere}, year={2011}, volume={82 7}, pages={1038-43} }