Heavy metals are the most dangerous hazards affecting aquatic biota in Egypt specially the Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, which is an important species in commercial fisheries. Some areas were not fully studied to screen the hazards that may affect this economic fish. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the potential hazards of heavy metals on O. niloticus in Al-Gharbiya Governorate in the Middle delta of Egypt. Water and fish samples were collected from Al-Qased canal, Kafr El-Zayaat Nile, El-Maash canal in Al-Gharbiya Governorate plus a reference site which is a fish farm at the Faculty of Agriculture, Damietta University, Damitta Governorate, Egypt. The results showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the lead, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and copper levels while showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the iron level in the water from all the investigated areas. Cadmium level was significantly high (p < 0.05) in Kafr El-Zayaat Nile and EL-Maash canal only. These metals were also accumulated in the fish livers and gills. Consequently, ALT and AST activities and creatinine level were significantly (p < 0.05) high in all the investigated areas. Histopathological examination revealed cytoplasmic and nuclear degeneration in the hepatocytes in all the investigated areas. Renal glomeruli and Bowman’s capsule were not completely intact in Al-Qased and El-Maash canals while conspicuous shrinkage of the glomeruli was determined in Kafr El-Zayaat Nile. Furthermore, slight damage in the secondary lamellae was detected in the gill from Al-Qased canal while in the other areas appeared vacuolated or destructed. Finally, spleen sections of fish from different sites showed the absence of melanin pigments and some vacuoles. In conclusion, the Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, is affected by the toxic effects of the heavy metals in Al-Gharbiya Governorate in Egypt and this gives an alarm and should be taken into consideration.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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