Assessment of Heavy Metals (Cd, Fe, Cu and Zn) levels in Oreochromis aureus and Cyprins Carpio fish species collected from Shat El-Arab River, Basra-Iraq, as possible indicator of heavy metals toxicity


Abstract Introduction: Environmental pollution caused by heavy metals has aroused widespread concern around the world. Fishes consider a connecting link for the transfer of toxic metals in human beings. Shatt AlArab is polluted by some different sources of pollutants including power stations, paper industry, oil refineries, and chemical fertilizer companies and overfishing. Accordingly the study was designed to measure Zn, Cu, Fe and Cd concentrations in the scale, bone, and muscle tissues of Bolti (Oreochromis aureus) and common carp( Cyprins Carpio) fish species in Basra, Iraq. Fishes were collected with the help of local fisherman; ten individuals of each species were stored in ice and transported to the laboratory immediately for heavy metals analysis. Results: Zn concentration significantly high in Bolti compared to carpio, Cu level in bones and scales are significantly high in common carpio while muscles show an opposite result. Iron levels are comparable in in both fish species while Cd shows the highest concentration in bone of carpio species. Conclusion: there were variation in heavy metals distribution in tested organs in both fish species, fortunately Zn, Cu, Cd and Fe concentrations in the edible part of the two fish species were below the limits proposed by various international standards and guidelines with significant increase in Cd concentration in fish’s bones.