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Mercury in the marine food chain in the Southern Ocean at Macquarie Island: an analysis of a top predator, Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and a mid-trophic species, the warty squid (Moroteuthis ingens)

Citation

McArthur, TA and Butler, ECV and Jackson, GD, Mercury in the marine food chain in the Southern Ocean at Macquarie Island: an analysis of a top predator, Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and a mid-trophic species, the warty squid (Moroteuthis ingens), Polar Biology, 27, (1) pp. 1-5. ISSN 0722-4060 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00300-003-0560-6

Abstract

The characteristics and habitat of the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) are typical of fish that accumulate high concentrations of mercury. In this study, mercury determinations were made on samples of muscle tissue from Macquarie Island toothfish and the Southern Ocean deepwater warty squid (Moroteuthis ingens). The analysis of mercury in the biological tissues was made by cold vapour-atomic absorption spectrometry following acid digestion. Performance of the analytical procedure was assessed by analysis of certified reference material (DORM-2, dogfish muscle). Mercury concentrations of 16 Macquarie Island toothfish ranged from 0.12 mg kg-1 (550 g, 381 mm TL) to 0.59 mg kg-1 (6,100 g, 823 mm TL), with a mean concentration of 0.33±0.12 mg kg-1. A significant correlation was found between mercury and either toothfish weight or total length. The fish analysed were juveniles, which suggests that larger individuals would have higher mercury concentrations well exceeding food standard code limits for mercury in fish (typically 0.5 mg kg-1). Warty squid, also from around Macquarie Island, had a low mean mercury concentration of 0.086 mg kg -1 in mantle tissue; no significant correlation existed between mercury concentration and either squid mantle length or total weight. It is postulated that the squid have a mechanism, possibly involving the digestive gland, that prevents bioaccumulation of mercury in the mantle, and presumably other body tissues.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Author:McArthur, TA (Ms Tertia McArthur)
Author:Jackson, GD (Dr George Jackson)
ID Code:29134
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-05-04
Downloads:0

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