Publication Details

Morrison, R. John., Peshut, P., West, R. J. and Lasorsa, B. K. (2015). Mercury (Hg) speciation in coral reef systems of remote Oceania: Implications for the artisanal fisheries of Tutuila, Samoa Islands. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 96 (1/2), 41-56.


We investigated Hg in muscle tissue of fish species from three trophic levels on fringing reefs of Tutuila (14°S, 171°W), plus water, sediment and turf alga. Accumulation of total Hg in the herbivore Acanthurus lineatus (Acanthuridae, lined surgeonfish, (n =40)) was negligible at 1.05 (±0.04) ngg-1 wet-weight, (~65% occurring as methyl Hg). The mid-level carnivore Parupeneus spp. (Mullidae, goatfishes (n =10)) had total Hg 29.8 (±4.5) ngg-1 wet-weight (~99% as methyl Hg). Neither A. lineatus or Parupeneus spp. showed a propensity to accumulate Hg based on body size. Both groups were assigned a status of "un-restricted" for monthly consumption limits for non-carcinogenic health endpoints for methyl Hg. The top-level carnivore Sphyraena qenie (Sphyraenidae, blackfin barracuda, n =3) had muscle tissue residues of 105, 650 and 741ngg-1 wet-weight (100% methyl Hg, with increasing concentration with body mass, suggesting that S. qenie >15kg would have a recommendation of "no consumption".



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