Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 https://doi.org/10.1007/s40071-018-0192-7 ORIGINAL RESEARCH Trace metal distribution in pelagic ﬁsh species from the north-west African coast (Morocco) . . . . Imane Afandi Sophia Talba Ali Benhra Samir Benbrahim . . . . Rachid Chﬁri Maylis Labonne Hicham Masski Raymond Lae¨ . . Luis Tito De Morais Mohammed Bekkali Fatima Zohra Bouthir Received: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published online: 5 June 2018 The Author(s) 2018 Abstract In the current study, ten elements contents (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, Cr, Co, Ni, Cd, Pb and Hg) have been measured in muscle and liver of four pelagic ﬁsh species (Engraulis encrasicolus, Sardina pilchardus, Scomber japonicus and Trachurus trachurus) from the north-west African coast (South Atlantic Moroccan coast), collected during summer and autumn seasons (July and December 2013, respectively). Signiﬁcant differences in metal contents were found between the different species (p \ 0.05). Metals levels were also much higher in liver than those recorded in muscle tissues. The concentrations of Fe, Zn, Cd, Co, Cu and Pb were signiﬁcantly higher in mackerel liver (p \ 0.05).While, in muscle, anchovy presents a higher content of Mn, Cu, Cr, Ni and Pb. A high level of cadmium was recorded in liver of the different species which can be attributed to an anthropogenic source (phosphate industry) and to natural sources (upwelling activities). The main concentration of toxic elements (Cd, Pb and Hg) recorded in the four edible muscles of pelagic ﬁsh species, under study, were below the established values by the European Commission Regulations and show that their effect on the consumers health can be considered as negligible. Keywords South Atlantic coast of Morocco Pelagic ﬁsh Trace metals Bioaccumulation Upwelling Introduction The metal pollution of the marine ecosystem has always been admitted as a serious environmental issue (Blakas et al. 1982; Tariq et al. 1991). Among environmental pollutants, metals are of particular concern; due to their potential toxic effect and ability to bioaccumulate in aquatic compartment (Censi et al. 2006). Trace metals are naturally and lowly present in seawater but their concentration levels have increased due to anthropogenic pollutants (Kargın et al. 2001). Fish and other aquatic organisms are persistently exposed to I. Afandi (&) M. Bekkali Faculty of Sciences Ain Chock, Hassan II University, Maarif, B. P. 5366, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco e-mail: email@example.com I. Afandi S. Talba A. Benhra S. Benbrahim R. Chﬁri H. Masski F. Z. Bouthir National Institute of Halieutic Research, Street Sidi Abderrahmane Club equestre Ould Jmel, 20100 Casablanca, Morocco S. Talba Faculty of Sciences Ben M’sik, Avenue du Cdt Driss Lharti, 20700 Casablanca, Morocco M. Labonne R. Lae L. Tito De Morais UMR LEMAR 6539, IUEM, Place copernic, Plouzane, 29820 Brest, France 123 192 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 chemicals in polluted and contaminated waters (Burger et al. 2002) and are exposed to accumulate consid- erable amounts of toxic elements from their living environment (Suhaimi et al. 2005). Thus, accumulation occurs in the tissues of ﬁsh and can be transferred to higher trophic levels via food chain. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the concentration of toxic elements in ﬁsh, because it is representing a potential health risks to the ﬁsh organisms and to the higher trophic level organism like humans that potentially consume them (Li et al. 2015; Vu et al. 2017). Actually, numerous studies have been carried out on trace metals contami- nation of different species of edible ﬁsh (Prudente et al. 1997; Kucuksezgin et al. 2001; Lewis et al. 2002;El Morhit et al. 2009; Chahid et al. 2014; Afandi et al. 2015; Diop et al. 2016). The Moroccan coast, with the Canary Current upwelling ecosystem (CanC), constitute one of the four main eastern boundaries upwelling ecosystems (EBUEs) of the world, which give rise to highly productive ecosystems and ﬁsheries (Pauly and Christensen 1995). In this area, the primary production exceeds -2 -1 300 g cm year (Carr 2002; Carr and Kearns 2003). Based on this high production, various commercially and socio-economically important ﬁsheries take place in this area such as small pelagic ﬁshes (Boe¨ly and Freon 1979). Small pelagic ﬁshes are the major target in the ﬁsheries in the Northwest coast of Africa. Over the last decade, total catch has been ﬂuctuating around an average of 1.8 million tones (FAO 2012). However, this ﬁshing potential has experienced a decrease in the recent decades. Beyond the impact of ﬁshing activities (Kifani et al. 2008), the Moroccan coast is under threat from the impacts of anthropogenic pollution (UNEP 1999, 2006) and global changes that will affect the water resources either directly (Biswas 2008), by potentiating effects of contaminants (Parry et al. 2007; Couillard et al. 2008), through variations in ocean dynamics and upwelling activities. In this study, four pelagic ﬁsh species including (Engraulis encrasicolus (anchovy), Sardina pilchardus (sardine), trachurus trachurus (horse mackerel) and Scomber japonicus (mackerel)) were selected. These ﬁsh species are of particular importance due to their intermediate position in the food web but also for their abundance. They are of crucial economic and biological importance, especially as they are the most consumed species by the Moroccan population. All these species have a gregarious behavior; however, they represent different spatial distribution and diet behaviors. Anchovy is found in the North Atlantic, North and Mediterranean Sea. It lives in coastal waters up to 150 m of depth. It is a planktonophagous species that mainly feeds on phytoplankton (diatoms, dinoﬂagellates…) and zooplankton (copepods, radiolaria, eggs, larvae…) (INRH 2013). In the Atlantic Ocean, sardines are distributed from the North Sea to the Mauritanian coast and can even reach the waters of Senegal (Fre´on and Ste´quert 1979). It lives in coastal waters up to 120 m of depth. It is a planktonophagous species whose diet consists largely of phytoplankton. Mackerel has a cosmopolitan distribution including warm and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Paciﬁc Oceans and adjacent seas. It is essentially a near coastal species, with a vertical distribution ranging between 0 and 300 m of depths. Mackerel show a diet that varies according to its stage of life, from a zoo planktonophagous during larval and post-larval stage to piscivory as adult (small pelagic ﬁsh, particularly anchovies). The European horse mackerel is distributed mainly on the continental shelf of the Northeast Atlantic. Along the West African coast, this species is distributed over the coast at over 300 m of depth, with preference for the deepest areas of the continental shelf (FAO 2001). His diet is mainly composed of decapods (shrimps), juvenile anchovies, myctophids and carangids (FAO 1983; COPACE 1984). Thus, the purpose of this work (involved in the framework of EPURE project research program) is to determine and compare the concentrations of Zn, Fe, Cu, Pb, Cd, Cr, Co and Hg in the liver and muscle of four small pelagic ﬁsh species from the south Atlantic Moroccan coast during two periods of upwelling phenomena, in July season of strong upwelling and December season of weak upwelling. The objective is also to describe the differences of the concentrations of trace metals between species, between upwelling seasons and to compare the results with guidelines set down by the European Commission Regulation (European Commission Regulation (EC) 2008, 2014, 2015) for the safe consumption limits of ﬁsh and the other studies. 123 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 193 Materials and methods Sampling Four pelagic marine ﬁsh (Engraulis encrasicolus, Sardina pilchardus, Scomber japonicus and Trachurus trachurus) were collected on cruises of the R/V ANTEA in summer and autumn season (July and December 2013). The samples were caught with a pelagic trawl at 27 locations in southern Moroccan coastal waters (22–30N) (Fig. 1). The four species were sampled according to their availability and presence in sufﬁcient quantity. After collection, the total length (cm) and body weight (g) of ﬁshes were measured (Table 1). The dissection of samples was done on board, then three replicate, composed of tissues from ﬁve individuals, of muscle and liver were removed with ceramic knife and frozen at - 20 C. In the laboratory, samples were freeze dried for 72 h at - 55 C. Then each dried ﬁsh sample was homogenized by mixing in rotating glass bottle, and stored until analysis. Samples preparation and analytical method The digestion procedure is carried out according to the Association of Ofﬁcial Analytical Chemists (AOAC) method: 2000. The total mercury levels were determined by an Automated Mercury Analyzer, Aula 254 (Gold trap). The analyses of the other metals were performed on an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-Q-MS X-Series 2, Thermo Scientiﬁc) in Ocean Spectrometry Pole at IUEM (Brest, France). Typically, 400 lL of the archive solution were added to 800 lL of 0.80 M HNO (Merck -Ultrapur Grade) spiked with in (1 ppb) into acid-washed 13 mm o.d. polypropylene tube with rounded bottom (VWR). Samples were introduced to a PFA-ST nebulizer/via a modiﬁed SC-Fast introduction system consisting of an SC-2 auto sampler, a six-port valve and a vacuum rinsing pump. Fig. 1 Study area and sampling location 123 194 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 Table 1 The mean length and weight of ﬁsh species Species Length (cm) Weight (g) Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) 13.5 ± 1.15 19.3 ± 5.05 Sardine (Sardina pilchardus)19 ± 2.40 43.7 ± 14.40 Mackerel (Scomber japonicus)23 ± 5.50 65.3 ± 15.80 Horse Mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) 21.5 ± 4.50 92.4 ± 40.60 Quality assurance and statistical analysis Stock standard solutions were prepared gravimetrically from mono and multielemental certiﬁed standards (Plasma Cal, SCP Science). A 7-point external standard curve was prepared by serial dilutions and analyzed every 30 samples. Indium and rhodium were added as internal standards. Precision (degree of reproducibility) and accuracy (degree of veracity) of our procedure were controlled through analyses of a certiﬁed reference materials Dorm-4 (ﬁsh protein, National Research Council, Canada), using the same digest procedures used for samples. Repeated measurements of these reference materials (every 15 samples) yielded a precision (relative standard deviation) between 8 and 15%. Accuracy was extremely good with a variation ranging from 5 to 8% between our measurements and the certiﬁed values. All statistical calculations were carried out with XLSTAT for Windows (Version 2015.1.03.15945). Sta- tistical signiﬁcance was deﬁned at 95% (p \ 0.05). The whole data were subjected to statistical analysis. The inter-species and seasonal differences in element concentrations between ﬁsh were performed with a one-way ANOVA, followed by post hoc Turkey tests. Pearson’s correlation coefﬁcients were used to examine rela- tionships between the elements in the muscle and liver of the ﬁsh species. Results The concentration of ten metals elements measured in liver and muscle tissues are reported for each species in Tables 2 and 3. The results show that whatever the species, metals were more concentrated in the livers than in muscles. We found signiﬁcant variation in the element concentrations in liver and muscle tissues (one-way ANOVA test, p \ 0.05). Considering the average concentration of metals in all pelagic species, the metals in livers are present in the following order: Fe [ Zn [ Cd [ Cu [ Mn [ Co [ Ni [ Hg [ Cr [ Pb. However, the sequence of metal content in muscle present the following order Fe [ Zn [ Cu [ Mn [ Ni [ Cr [ Cd [ Hg [ Pb–Co. The order of metal accumulation in both organs showed that Cd and Co are much more accumulated in liver than in muscle. Moreover, for all species, the sequence of toxic trace element was as follows: Cd [ Hg [ Pb in liver and muscle tissues. In both organs, iron showed the highest metal level in studied ﬁsh, with the highest concentration recorded -1 in mackerel tissues (1158.1 ± 514.8 in liver and 68.52 ± 30.7 lgg d.w. in muscle). Following iron, zinc -1 showed the second highest levels. In liver of mackerel, Zn represent the highest level (129.65 ± 22.15 lgg d.w.), however, in muscle the highest concentration of Zn was observed in anchovy and mackerel (36.9 ± 7.5 -1 and 37.5 ± 10.9 lgg d.w., respectively). The maximum content of Cd and Cu was observed in liver of -1 mackerel (50.07 ± 20.3; 28.30 ± 6.37 lgg d.w., respectively). In muscle Cd content was high in mackerel -1 -1 (0.198 ± 0.3 lgg d.w.), however, the maximum level of Cu, was observed in anchovy (6.18 ± 1.6 lgg d.w.). Levels of toxic metals in livers show that Cd and Pb are more accumulated by mackerel; however, Hg is -1 more accumulated by anchovy (0.49 ± 0.00 lgg d.w.). The levels of Pb showed a weak variation in muscles of the different ﬁsh species. In spite its small size, anchovy had Cd levels slightly higher of those found in horse mackerel. Furthermore, mercury level was signiﬁcantly high in muscle of horse mackerel (p \ 0.05). Concentrations of Ni were high in liver of anchovy and horse mackerel (0.521 ± 0.28; -1 -1 0.437 ± 0.52 lgg d.w., respectively) and in muscle of anchovy (0.33 ± 0.28 lgg d.w.). Co present the -1 same behavior as Cd with high level in liver of mackerel (1.59 ± 0.8 lgg d.w.) and muscle of anchovy and -1 mackerel (0.064 ± 0.013; 0.068 ± 0.037 lgg d.w., respectively). Results of concentration of Mn showed -1 that the highest concentrations are registered in liver and muscle of anchovy (4.95 ± 0.67, 2.0 ± 0.3 lgg 123 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 195 -1 Table 2 Mean (± SD) concentration of metals in liver of different ﬁsh species (lgg Dry weight) Species Fe Zn Co Ni Mn Cr Cu Pb Cd Hg Liver Engraulis encrasicolus n =6 bb bcab bcbc aa aa aa bb bb bcbc aa Mean ± SD 432.15 ± 57.86 104.70 ± 15.10 0.392 ± 0.14 0.521 ± 0.28 4.951 ± 0.67 0.088 ± 0.04 15.522 ± 2.07 0.078 ± 0.02 13.009 ± 5.67 0.49 ± 0.00 Min–Max 356.63–513.82 86.78–122.76 0.23–0.61 0.28–0.90 4.42–6.28 0.03–0.14 12.55–17.86 0.05–0.11 5.46–19.28 0.48–0.5 Sardina pilchardus n =31 Summer 606.53 ± 150.66 92.80 ± 15.84 0.22 ± 0.07 0.26 ± 0.22 3.30 ± 0.93 0.149 ± 0.16 18.26 ± 6.16 0.08 ± 0.04 7.45 ± 2.69 0.11 ± 0.13 Autumn 301.540 ± 78.50 88.03 ± 3.22 0.21 ± 0.02 0.15 ± 0.09 4.92 ± 0.61 0.118 ± 0.06 19.48 ± 1.80 0.04 ± 0.03 6.23 ± 3.13 0.05 ± 0.00 bb cb cc aa bb aa bb bb cc cb Mean ± SD 559.605 ± 180 92.064 ± 14.67 0.221 ± 0.06 0.242 ± 0.21 3.611 ± 1.09 0.143 ± 0.15 18.431 ± 5.73 0.073 ± 0.04 7.215 ± 2.77 0.10 ± 0.129 Min–Max 224.83–944.79 64.89–125.46 0.13–0.38 0.04–0.83 2.05–5.59 0.02–0.71 10.75–32.58 0.01–0.16 2.99–13.19 0.020–0.486 Scomber japonicus n =37 Summer 1085.11 ± 441.52 129.97 ± 22.86 1.45 ± 0.73 0.42 ± 0.34 3.81 ± 1.03 0.095 ± 0.07 27.95 ± 6.31 0.21 ± 0.09 48.16 ± 19.42 0.21 ± 0.09 Autumn 2254,10 ± 12.34 125,21 ± 5.91 3.71 ± 0.02 0.82 ± 0.08 5.21 ± 0.14 0.128 ± 0.13 34.05 ± 5.70 0.25 ± 0.11 78.74 ± 9.50 N.D. aa aa aa aa bab aa aa aa aa bab Mean ± SD 1158.172 ± 514.8 129.659 ± 22.15 1.591 ± 0.8 0.447 ± 0.34 3.887 ± 1.05 0.098 ± 0.08 28.305 ± 6.37 0.218 ± 0.09 50.072 ± 20.3 0.210 ± 0.09 Min–Max 372.91–2262.82 94.39–182.46 0.17–3.72 0.13–1.58 2.50–6.27 0.04–0.43 16.78–40.96 0.09–0.43 6.72–85.45 0.092–0.342 Trachurus trachurus n =30 Summer 1105.77 ± 679.10 112.64 ± 35.72 0.88 ± 0.42 0.45 ± 0.56 3.79 ± 0.94 0.122 ± 0.10 24.49 ± 12.57 0.05 ± 0.03 21.17 ± 12.64 0.13 ± 0.08 Autumn 930,20 ± 65.71 112,26 ± 5.09 1.29 ± 0.80 0.39 ± 0.06 4.59 ± 1.42 0.061 ± 0.02 16.82 ± 9.49 0.09 ± 0.02 34.99 ± 17.13 0.30 ± 0.00 aa ba bb aa bab aa bab bb bb bcb Mean ± SD 1077.681 ± 623.83 112.575 ± 32.55 0.938 ± 0.49 0.437 ± 0.52 3.927 ± 1.05 0.111 ± 0.09 22.958 ± 12.27 0.058 ± 0.03 23.557 ± 14.19 0.155 ± 0.094 Min–Max 477.63–3182.56 68.30–210.71 0.35–2.04 0.03–2.66 2.58–6.80 0.04–0.48 9.04–67.94 0.003–0.12 8.84–65.35 0.034–0.302 Mean metal concentration of different species from all sites sharing a common letter for a particular metal are not signiﬁcantly different p \ 0.05 N.D. no determined 196 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 -1 Table 3 Mean (± SD) concentration of metals in muscle of different ﬁsh species (lgg Dry weight) Species Fe Zn Co Ni Mn Cr Cu Pb Cd Hg Muscle Engraulis encrasicolus n =6 abab aba abab aa aa aa aa aa aba bb Mean ± SD 62.43 ± 5.38 36.92 ± 7.50 0.064 ± 0.013 0.332 ± 0.280 2.002 ± 0.380 0.27 ± 0.442 6.18 ± 1.61 0.066 ± 0.037 0.195 ± 0.072 0.052 ± 0.011 Min–Max 56.39–68.56 29.53–51.26 0.04–0.07 0.11–0.69 1.48–2.61 0.05–1.17 4.04–8.72 0.02–0.12 0.12–0.29 0.044–0.060 Sardina pilchardus n =31 Summer 66.79 ± 34.00 30.66 ± 11.00 0.05 ± 0.13 0.16 ± 0.27 1.24 ± 0.50 0.12 ± 0.13 4.94 ± 3.31 0.04 ± 0.07 0.07 ± 0.04 0.03 ± 0.01 Autumn 62.87 ± 9.53 37.54 ± 4.54 0.06 ± 0.01 0.23 ± 0.22 1.38 ± 0.22 0.07 ± 0.02 4.46 ± 0.81 0.02 ± 0.01 0.03 ± 0.01 0.05 ± 0.01 aa ba bcab aa bb ba aa ba ba bb Mean ± SD 66.10 ± 31.1 31.91 ± 10.64 0.049 ± 0.022 0.172 ± 0.255 1.26 ± 0.462 0.11 ± 0.121 4.86 ± 3.027 0.035 ± 0.033 0.067 ± 0.067 0.037 ± 0.015 Min–Max 31.42–141.84 15.74–60.09 0.02–0.12 0.02–1.29 0.21–2.35 0.03–0.66 1.74–14.32 0.0008–0.13 0.01–0.33 0.016–0.061 Scomber japonicus n =37 Summer 62.00 ± 25.83 35.00 ± 8.73 0.06 ± 0.11 0.12 ± 0.11 0.57 ± 0.58 0.11 ± 0.11 3.41 ± 1.26 0.03 ± 0.33 0.20 ± 0.03 0.09 ± 0.04 Autumn 125.14 ± 11.00 59.66 ± 9.00 0.14 ± 0.01 0.33 ± 0.07 0.75 ± 0.09 0.15 ± 0.01 5.88 ± 0.51 0.05 ± 0.00 0.19 ± 0.04 0.14 ± 0.00 aa aa aa aa cc ba bab ba aa bb Mean ± SD 68.52 ± 30.7 37.50 ± 10.93 0.068 ± 0.037 0.140 ± 0.124 0.591 ± 0.554 0.11 ± 0.109 3.60 ± 1.38 0.035 ± 0.028 0.198 ± 0.318 0.094 ± 0.042 Min–Max 27.68–155.38 21.07–68.68 0.03–0.15 0.01–0.42 0.16–3.51 0.02–0.52 1.32–6.50 0.01–0.16 0.04–1.39 0.040–0.162 Trachurus trachurus n =30 Summer 33.87 ± 10.23 17.92 ± 6.17 0.04 ± 0.09 0.16 ± 0.18 0.48 ± 0.18 0.14 ± 0.09 2.07 ± 0.61 0.03 ± 0.15 0.07 ± 0.02 0.24 ± 0.15 Autumn 54.00 ± 9.00 36.00 ± 16.52 0.04 ± 0.02 0.11 ± 0.09 0.64 ± 0.11 0.06 ± 0.01 2.47 ± 0.80 0.04 ± 0.02 0.10 ± 0.08 0.15 ± 0.07 bb cb cb aa cc ba cb ba ba aa Mean ± SD 37.07 ± 12.5 20.78 ± 10.57 0.037 ± 0.019 0.148 ± 0.163 0.513 ± 0.175 0.13 ± 0.089 2.13 ± 0.64 0.029 ± 0.022 0.077 ± 0.143 0.221 ± 0.137 Min–Max 12.75–67.55 9.78–51.92 0.01–0.10 0.01–0.69 0.29–0.94 0.02–0.43 1.17–3.87 0.004–0.08 0.004–0.77 0.064–0.430 Mean metal concentration of different species from all sites sharing a common letter for a particular metal are not signiﬁcantly different p \ 0.05 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 197 d.w., respectively). Finally, Cr represent the higher concentrations in liver of Sardine and horse mackerel -1 -1 (0.143 ± 0.15 lgg d.w) however, in muscle anchovy represent the maximum content (0.27 ± 0.4 lgg d.w). The concentrations of Fe, Zn, Cd, Co, Cu and Pb were signiﬁcantly higher in mackerel liver (p \ 0.05). Whereas Mn, Cu, Cr, Ni and Pb were higher in muscle of anchovy (Tables 2, 3). The mean concentration of metals in tissues of sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel during summer and autumn seasons (anchovy was not represented due to unavailability during warm season) are giving in Figs. 2 and 3 and Tables 2 and 3. During both seasons, the results showed that the concentration of metals were higher in liver than in muscle. Therefore, there was no clear seasonal pattern in metal concentrations (Figs. 2, 3). The results showed that, indeed, sardine concentrations of Fe, Pb were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during summer season, whereas Mn were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during autumn season. For mackerel, concentrations of Fe, Co and Cd were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during autumn season. For horse mackerel only Pb concentrations that were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during autumn season. In muscle, concentrations of Fe, Co Ni, Cu, Zn were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during autumn season for mackerel. However, only Zn and Fe were signiﬁcantly higher (p \ 0.05) during autumn season for horse mackerel. No signiﬁcant differences were observed for the other elements studied here. Inter-elemental relationships in ﬁsh tissues (inter-metal correlation) were assessed by the mean of Person’s correlation coefﬁcient. Tables 4 and 5 show values of correlation coefﬁcients among metal concentrations. A high signiﬁcant positive correlation was observed in tissue samples for the trace metal pairs of Fe and (Zn, Cu, Ni, Co), Zn and (Cu, Co), Mn and (Cu, Cr, Ni), Cu and (Ni, Co) in liver. In addition, a high signiﬁcant correlations were found in muscle between Fe and (Zn, Cu, Co, Cd), Zn and (Cu, Co, Cd), Cu and (Co, Pb, Cd); Co and (Pb, Cd) and Pb–Cd. Discussion In this study, the investigation of trace metal contamination levels in ﬁsh from the southern Atlantic Moroccan coast showed the presence of differences of contamination between species and considered organs, as well as Levels of metals in muscle Levels of metals in muscle * * Summer Autumn Summer Autumn Scomber japonicus Trachurus trachurus Sardina pilchardus Scomber japonicus Trachurus trachurus Sardina pilchardus Levels of metals in muscle 0.6 0.4 * 0.2 0.0 Summer Autumn Trachurus trachurus Scomber japonicus Sardina pilchardus Fig. 2 Seasonal variation in mean metals concentrations (± SD) in muscle of the three pelagic ﬁsh species (asterisk denote signiﬁcant differences between season) Fe Zn Fe Zn Cr Co Ni Cd Pb Hg Cr Co Ni Cd Pb Hg Mn Cu Mn Cu -1 Concentrations µg.g d.w. -1 Concentrations µg.g d.w. -1 Concentrations µg.g d.w. 198 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 Levels of metals in liver 2500 Levels of metals in liver Summer Autumn Summer Autumn Sardina pilchardus Scomber japonicus Trachurus trachurus Sardine pilchardus scomber japonicus Trachurus trachurus Levels of metals in liver Autumn Summer Trachurus trachurus Sardina pilchardus Scomber japonicus Fig. 3 Seasonal variation in mean metals concentrations (± SD) in liver of the three pelagic ﬁsh species (asterisk denote signiﬁcant differences between season) Table 4 Pearson product-moment correlation coefﬁcients between trace metals in the muscle tissue of ﬁshes Metal Fe Zn Mn Cr Cu Ni Co Pb Cd Hg Fe 1 Zn 0.727 1 Mn 0.473 0.362 1 Cr 0.325 0.158 0.428 1 Cu 0.848 0.656 0.659 0.458 1 Ni 0.614 0.452 0.515 0.792 0.720 1 Co 0.753 0.644 0.263 0.329 0.672 0.481 1 Pb 0.396 0.335 0.463 0.279 0.532 0.394 0.329 1 Cd 0.178 0.073 - 0.051 0.193 0.030 0.087 0.177 0.077 1 Hg - 0.313 - 0.400 - 0.365 0.074 - 0.339 0.004 - 0.117 - 0.151 - 0.034 1 Bold value indicate signiﬁcant levels at p \ 0.05 very signiﬁcant variations between the elements of metals analyzed. Two groups of elements were determined for all the data obtained. It is well known that some of the trace elements control important biological processes by facilitating the binding of molecules to their receptor sites on cell membrane, e.g., Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni and Co, representing a group of essential elements to metabolic activities and physiological functions which are present in all animal tissues. However, other metals are known to be potentially toxic, i.e., Hg, Pb and Cd, and may be of natural or anthropogenic origin, representing a group of toxic elements. Metal concentrations in ﬁsh organs The results demonstrated that, whatever the species, elements show higher concentrations in liver than in muscle tissue (Tables 2, 3) as reported in other studies (Diop et al. 2016). Metal accumulation in ﬁsh organs Fe Zn Fe Zn Cr Co Ni Pb Hg Cr Co Ni Pb Hg Mn Cu Cd Mn Cu Cd Concentrations µg.g-1 d.w. -1 Concentrations µg.g d.w. -1 Concentrations µg.g d.w. Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 199 Table 5 Pearson product-moment correlation coefﬁcients between trace metals in the liver tissue of ﬁshes Variables Fe Zn Mn Cr Cu Ni Co Pb Cd Hg Fe 1 Zn 0.787 1 Mn 0.137 0.510 1 Cr - 0.105 0.013 0.226 1 Cu 0.661 0.708 0.267 0.199 1 Ni 0.234 0.463 0.395 - 0.029 0.197 1 Co 0.686 0.668 0.198 - 0.165 0.735 0.398 1 Pb 0.472 0.492 - 0.191 - 0.227 0.675 0.169 0.631 1 Cd 0.687 0.651 0.033 - 0.233 0.747 0.205 0.764 0.876 1 Hg 0.173 0.335 0.457 - 0.161 0.280 0.217 0.311 0.264 0.363 1 Bold value indicate signiﬁcant levels at p \ 0.05 relay on the physiological role of the organs (Uysal et al. 2008). Liver represent an organ with high metabolic activities and accumulate more elements than organ with lower metabolic activities like muscle (Ploetz et al. 2007). These organs with high metabolic activities contain metal-binding proteins involved in the reduction of trace metal functions, like metallothioneins in the liver, allowing them to accumulate a signiﬁcant higher level of element than the muscle tissue (Roesijadi 1996; JariC et al. 2011). In our study, all metals concentrations in all ﬁsh species show the following trend, liver [ muscle. Metal concentrations in different ﬁsh species In our study, the results showed that ﬁsh exhibited wide inter-speciﬁc variations in metals accumulation in both organs. The liver tissue of predatory ﬁsh (mackerel and horse mackerel) contained signiﬁcantly higher levels of Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Cd (Table 2), due to their feeding at the higher trophic levels, therefore, by the bioaccumulation and biomagniﬁcation of the elements through the food chain. Many studies attributed high metal accumulation to the feeding habit of the ﬁsh. Mackerel and horse mackerel feed on ﬁsh, crustaceans and cephalopods. Therefore, there is an evidence for metal bioaccumulation and biomagniﬁcation; however, evidence for Cd biomagniﬁcations is inconsistent (Vieira et al. 2011). In the edible muscles of the pelagic species, anchovy was found to have signiﬁcant higher content of Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu and Pb. Actually; it is well known that metal concentrations in ﬁsh tissues are related to metal contents in environment. Thus, this ﬁnding in anchovy could be linked to feeding on zooplankton since it is able to accumulate a high metal content. Topping (1973) have also reported that ﬁsh species feeding on plankton contain higher concentration of trace metals than bottom feeding ﬁsh. Gundogdu et al. (2016) reported the same results with high metals content in muscle of E. encrasicolus from Black sea than content found in muscle of T. trachurus and M. barbatus. The reason for high metal concentrations in small ﬁsh could also be due to the metal complex with the mucus in skin that is impossible to be puriﬁed completely from ﬁsh tissue before the analysis. Thus, for small ﬁsh the skin may be an important site for the uptake of metals due to their high surface area to body ratio. Nevertheless, the bioaccumulation process of metals in organisms can also inﬂuenced by biotic factors, deﬁning for each species and for each development stage, the ecological characteristics (habitat. diet) and the structural and functional properties of the biological barriers that separate living organisms from their envi- ronment and controlling metal absorption. (Boudou and Ribeyre 1997; Andres et al. 2000; Barron 2003). Metal accumulation patterns The general order of monitored metal bioaccumulation in pelagic ﬁsh was Fe [ Zn [ Cd [ Cu [ Mn [ Co [ Ni [ Hg [ Cr [ Pb in liver and Fe [ Zn [ Cu [ Mn [ Ni [ Cr [ Cd [ Hg [ Pb–Co in muscle tissue. We observed that the essential metals showed the same order of magnitude, however, only the toxic elements presented different order depending on ﬁsh environment. In comparison with data reported for 123 200 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 pelagic ﬁsh from other locations, the observed amount of sequences are different from that indicated by Copat et al. (2013) in muscle of pelagic ﬁsh (muscle of anchovy, mackerel and horse mackerel) from Eastern Mediterranean sea (Zn [ Mn [ Ni [ Cr [ Pb [ Cd), Canli and Atli (2003) in sardine tissues (Fe [ Zn [ Pb [ Cu [ Cr [ Cd), Ersoy and C ¸ elik (2009) in muscle (Fe [ Zn [ Cu [ Mn [ Ni [ Pb [ Cr [ Cd) and liver of mackerel (Fe [ Zn [ Cu [ Mn [ Cd [ Pb [ Ni [ Cr) both from the Mediterranean sea, and Bilandzˇic´ et al. (2011) in muscle tissue of sardine and mackerel from Adriatic Sea (Cu [ Hg [ Pb [ Cd). From these observations, we have noted that cadmium element is the less accumulated metal, at the opposition of our results, which show a large accumulation of cadmium especially in the liver. Cadmium is particularly concentrated in liver of the four studied ﬁsh species (Table 2). Data from a previous study showed that cadmium level in liver of various species is less than 10 mg/kg d.w., and more often less than 1 mg/kg d.w. (Romeo et al. 1999; Henry et al. 2004; Diop et al. 2016). Cadmium were already founded at high levels in ﬁsh and mollusks from West African coastal areas such as the Mauritanian water (Romeo et al. 1999; Sidoumou et al. 2005), Moroccan coast (Benbrahim et al. 2006; Maanan 2008; El Morhit et al. 2013) or Senegalese coast (Bodin et al. 2013; Diop et al. 2016). These high concentrations of Cd were attributed to natural origins, such as upwelling of deep waters, which takes place along the Western Atlantic coast (Romeo et al. 1999). Auger et al. (2015), has demonstrated that coastal upwelling in Western Atlantic coast, represent the main natural origin of cadmium enrichment of marine ecosystems, whereas the main anthropogenic origin is the phosphate industry efﬂuents. Actually, Morocco is the second phosphate producer in the world. About 27 million tons of phosphate ores are extracted and processed annually to produce phosphoric acid and phosphorus-based fer- tilizers (‘‘Annual Report, Ofﬁce Che´riﬁen des Phosphates, Maroc,’’ 2012; Gaudry et al., 2007). The phos- phoric acid is produced, from the chemical reaction between sulphuric acid and phosphate ores. During the reaction, calcium sulphate (phosphogypsum), is produced and spread out into the ocean (Auger et al. 2015).The phosphogypsum resultant from production of phosphoric acid and phosphorus-based fertilizers contain a signiﬁcant abundance of crustal elements such as heavy metal, especially cadmium. Thus, the phosphate industry releases a large quantity of Cd off the coast of Morocco around Saﬁ and Jorf-Lasfar (33N) (Gaudry et al. 2007) (Fig. 1). However, wind-inducing upwelling of intermediate water along WN African Coast and driving to a re-injection of element (Such as Cadmium) in the surface layer (Auger et al. 2015). In the same study, it has been demonstrated that potential phytoplankton Cd-uptake and Cd-bioaccumulation coincide with the upwelling enrichment and dispersion patterns in waters. This result can explain the high Cd content in muscle of anchovy which feed directly on plankton. The concentrations of Cd in liver and muscle of marine ﬁsh were in the same order of those reported in Mauritanian coast (Sidoumou et al. 2005; Romeo et al. 1999; Diop et al. 2016) and higher than those reported in pelagic ﬁsh from Moroccan coast (in central and south zone) (Chahid et al. 2014; Afandi et al. 2015) and in Portuguese water (Vieira et al. 2011). However, metals such as Fe, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni, Co and Cu are essential elements with useful biological functions. Thus, most organisms have biochemical mechanisms control the amount of these elements into their cells. A number of studies had investigated metal contents in small pelagic ﬁsh tissues comparing with those studies, levels of Cu, Mn, Cr, Ni, Fe, Zn Pb and Cd reported in our study are in agreement with those found in muscle and liver of sardine from the upwelled water of Senegalese coast (Diop et al. 2016) except for Cr, Fe, Pb and Cd contents in liver which were higher than our results. Also, El Morhit et al. (2013) reported metal content in muscle of sardine collected from South Atlantic coast of Morocco, which were in same order of magnitude than our results but with higher content of Ni. However, lower metal contents were reported in muscle of anchovy (Cu, Fe, and Zn), sardine tissues (Cd, Cu, Co, Fe, Ni, Pb, and Zn) and in muscle of scombrus (Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, and Zn) from Marmara Sea (Ergu¨l and Aksan 2013). As stated above, upwelled waters, where the different studied species were collected, may be naturally rich in metal element. Metal content of ﬁsh from Mauritanian coast showed a lower concentration of Cd and Cu in sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel, and of Zn in sardine and mackerel, however, higher content of Zn were reported in muscle of horse mackerel (Romeo et al. 1999). Therefore, difference in metal accumulation can be controlled by numerous factors, corresponding to the physicochemical characteristics of the aquatic biotopes and to their natural or anthropogenic variations, inﬂuencing metals bioavailability, via the chemical speciation reactions, and their transfer and bioaccumulation behavior, in relation to the adaptive responses to the main physio- logical functions (e.g., respiration, osmo regulation, nutrition) (Boudou and Ribeyre 1997; Andres et al. 2000; Barron 2003). 123 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 201 Cd, Pb and Hg are non-essential elements with high toxic potential even at low concentrations. Legal thresholds are not available for essential elements in Europe. The European Community proposed threshold values of metal concentrations in ﬁsh muscle only for nonessential metals (e.g., Cd, Pb and Hg). The threshold -1 values are expressed as lgg wet weight and are 0.3 for Pb, 0.5 for Hg and 0.05 for Cd in ﬁshery products. For physiological reasons, some species accumulate this elements more than others and for these species a higher -1 -1 acceptable limit applies for Cd (0.1 lgg wet weight for mackerel and 0.25 lgg wet weight for sardine and anchovy (European Commission (EC) 2008, 2014, 2015). For an easier comparison, our results in dry weight -1 Cd 100 have been converted into lgg wet weight using a conversion factor CF ¼ ¼ of four between wet Cw 100%H and dry mass (Cresson et al. 2017), where Cd and Cw represent the concentrations expressed to dry and wet mass, respectively, and %H is the percentage of humidity in wet tissues determined according to the Association of -1 Ofﬁcial Analytical Chemists (AOAC) method: 2000. The Cd concentrations in muscle tissues were 0.05 lgg -1 in anchovy and mackerel, and were 0.02 lgg in sardine and horse mackerel. For Pb, the concentrations were -1 -1 0.01 lgg in sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel muscles, however, the concentration were 0.02 lgg in anchovy. The Hg concentrations in muscle tissues of anchovy, sardine, mackerel and horse mackerel were 0.013 -1 -1 -1 -1 lgg , 0.009 lgg , 0.024 lgg and 0.055 lgg , respectively. The overall Cd, Pb and Hg levels in the muscle tissues of all the specimens analyzed were well under the proposed limit values. Results of cadmium contents for Sardine are comparable with those reported by Diop et al. (2016) from Senegalese Coast and higher with those reported by Chahid et al. (2013) and Vieira et al.(2011). However, these authors reported higher levels of lead and mercury in the same species. For mackerel, results found in our study present also higher cadmium contents and lower levels of Pb than mackerel from Atlantic Ocean in Portuguese waters, and Mediterranean Sea (Vieira et al. 2011; Falco´ et al. 2006). Moreover, lower content of cadmium were reported in horse mackerel from Adriatic Sea and Atlantic Sea (Storelli 2008; Vieira et al. 2011) and higher content of Hg and Pb (Storelli 2008; Vieira et al. 2011; Mendil et al. 2010) (Table 6). Seasonal concentration patterns In our study area, there was no clear seasonal pattern in metal contents in ﬁsh muscles. In liver tissue, metals concentrations (except Mn and Cu) show a decrease between summer and autumn seasons for sardine, this can probably be attributed to the upwelling intensity, which is greater during the summer season and lower during the autumn season (Makaoui et al. 2005). It is well known that upwelling phenomena contribute to metals bioavailability in environment. Bruland and Franks (1983) reported in the coastal waters of California, elevated levels of Cd, Cu and Zn, explaining that it could be a result from the upwelling of nutrient-rich waters. The same result was also reported by Romeo and Gnassia-Barelli (1988) for Cd, Fe and Zn on the Mauritanian coast. Whereas in mackerel’s liver, seasonal variation of all metals concentrations (except Zn) show an increase between summer and autumn seasons for mackerel. However, in horse mackerel liver no consistent patterns were recorded. Therefore, the seasonal variations of metals concentrations measured in our study could depend upon several factors such as growth and reproductive cycles and changes in water temperature (Ersoy and C ¸ elik 2009). These variations can also be reported to the water circulation along the coast and upwelling intensity. Additionally, the differences noted in seasonal patterns between species could be due to variations in feeding habits, in spatial migration, feeding and intrinsic factors such as different rates of physiological process and uptake. Inter-elemental relationships in ﬁsh tissues (inter-metal correlation) (Tables 4, 5) shows signiﬁcant cor- relations among the elements (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Co and Pb) in muscle and (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, Co, Pb and Cd) in liver. The correlation between the different elements observed in the same tissue of ﬁsh can be explained by the similar accumulation behavior of trace elements in the ﬁshes and their interactions (Ko- jadinovic et al. 2007). Conclusion Based on the analyses of ﬁsh samples, trace metal concentrations in ﬁsh from the south Atlantic Moroccan coast were broadly comparable to those found in similar national and international studies. In this work, there 123 202 Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 -1 Table 6 Comparison heavy metal concentrations (lgg ) in ﬁsh with values taken from the open literature Fish species Region Fe Zn Mn Cu Co Cr Ni Cd Pb Hg References Sardine Atlantic sea (ww) 0.0017–0.0151 0.0029–0.056 0.0116–0.028 Vieira et al. Sardine Mediterranean sea 0.002–0.01 0.01–0.08 0.07–0.09 Falco´ et al. (ww) 2006 Sardine Senegalese Coast (L) 599.8 (L) 90.23 (L) 3.84 (L) 18.19 – (L) 1.244 (L) 0.394 (L) 18.11 (L) 0.249 – Diop et al. 2016 (dw) (M) 72.3 (M) 20.92 (M) 1.87 (M) 4.96 (M) 0.248 (M) 0.126 (M) 0.051 (M) 0.023 Sardine Marmara Sea (dw) (L) 110 (L) 55.4 (L) 3.55 (L) 0.09 (L) 0.32 (L) 0.36 (L) 0.07 (L) 0.09 (L) 0.02 Ergu¨l and Aksan 2013 (M) 39.7 (M) 30.8 (M) 3.03 (M)0.04 (M) 0.37 (M) 0.05 (M) 0.05 (M) 0.10 (M) 0.11 Anchovy (M) 26 .3 (M) 24.5 (M) 2.7 (M) 0.05 (M) 0.33 (M) 0.06 (M) 0.02 (M) 0.03 (M) 0.11 Mackerel (M) 33.9 (M) 18 (M) 2.05 (M) 0.04 (M) 0.72 (M) 0.27 (M) 0.01 (M) 0.01 (M) 1.31 Sardine Atlantic coast (M) 11.67–15.90 (M) 3.54–12.70 (M) 0.02–0.18 (M) 0.01–1.10 (M) 0.001–0.02 (M) 1.10–2.8 (M) 0.01–0.23 (M) 0.001–0.008 El Morhit et al. Morocco (ww) 2013 Horse Adriatic sea (ww) 0.01–0.03 ND–0.06 0.16–2.41 Storelli 2008 Mackerel Horse Atlantic sea (ww) 0.003–0.0141 0.0031–0.0215 0.038–0.3371 Vieira et al. Mackerel 2011 Horse Black sea (ww) 0.22 0.64 Mendil et al. Mackerel 2010 Mackerel Mediterannean sea 0.003–0.01 0.01–0.02 0.06–0.15 Falco´ et al. (ww) 2006 Sardine Atlantic sea Morocco 0.0058 0.02 0.038 Chahid et al. (ww) 2014 Sardinella Mauritanian Coast 1.6 2.8 0.02 0.09 Romeo et al. (dw) 1999 Mackerel 32 1.7 0.03 ND Horse 42 1.6 0.04 0.03 Mackerel Anchovy Moroccan Atlantic 432.15 (L) 104.7 (L) 4.95 (L) 15.52 (L) 0.39 (L) 0.088 (L) 0.52 (L) 13.0 (L) 0.078 (L) 0.49(L) Present study coast (dw) 62.42 (M) 36.19 (M) 2.00 (M) 6.17 (M) 0.06(M) 0.269 (M) 0.33 (M) 0.195 (M) 0.066 (M) 0.052 (M) Sardina 559.6 (L) 104.7 (L) 3.611 (L) 18.4 (L) 0.221(L) 0.143 (L) 0.242 (L) 7.215 (L) 0.073 (L) 0.10(L) 66.09 (M) 31.9 (M) 1.263(M) 4.86 (M) 0.049 0.109 (M) 0.172 (M) 0.067 (M) 0.035 (M) 0.037 (M) (M) Mackerel 1158.1(L) 129.6 (L) 3.88 (L) 28.30 (L) 1.59 (L) 0.098 (L) 0.447 (L) 50.07 (L) 0.218 (L) 0.21(L) 68.52 (M) 37.49 (M) 0.58 (M) 3.6 (M) 0.068 0.113 (M) 0.140 (M) 0.198 (M) 0.035 (M) 0.094 M) (M) Horse 1077.6 (L) 112.57(L) 3.92 (L) 22.95 (L) 0.93(L) 0.111 (L) 0.437 (L) 23.55 (L) 0.058 (L) 0.15(L) Mackere 37.07 (M) 20.78 (M) 0.51 (M) 2.13 (M) 0.037 0.125 (M) 0.148 (M) 0.077 (M) 0.029 (M) 0.22(M) (M) dw dry weight, ww wet weight Int Aquat Res (2018) 10:191–205 203 was no clear seasonal pattern in metal contents in ﬁsh muscles. However, we observed, a signiﬁcant bioac- cumulation behavior between species and organs. A high level of cadmium was recorded in liver of the different species which can be attributed to anthropogenic sources (phosphate industry) and to natural sources (upwelling activities). The toxic elements (Cd, Pb and Hg) recorded in edible muscle of the four pelagic ﬁsh species, were below the limit value established by the European Commission Regulation (European Com- mission (EC) 2008, 2014, 2015) and show that consumption of ﬁsh from the south Moroccan Atlantic coast cannot have a risk for health of consumers. However, the coastal zone and its components represent an expanding dynamic environment, which continues to be a key and a promising sector for the development of Morocco, and therefore, constant monitoring of the marine ecosystems in the southern coast sea is required by the concerned agency due to the increase of anthropogenic activities for safe supply of ﬁsh. Acknowledgements This work was supported ﬁnancially by ANR EPURE project (Trace-metal Element climatic Perturbations, Upwelling and Resources). We would like to express our gratitude to the project coordinators and the crew that participated in the survey on aboard the R/V Antea and to the engineers of the Pole Spectrometry Ocean Brest (PSO, IUEM, Brest, France) for their help running ICP-MS measurements. A special thanks go to Ms Zineb Zine El Abidine for editing English language of the whole text. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. 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International Aquatic Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018
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