Mercury contamination levels in the bioindicator piscivorous fish Hoplias aïmara in French Guiana rivers: mapping for risk assessment

Abstract : In French Guiana, native populations present high level of mercury contamination, which has been linked to the consumption of contaminated fishes. The goal of this study is to undertake a cartography of mercury contamination levels in fishes from the six main Guiana rivers. The selected species for this study is the ubiquitous piscivorous fish Hoplias aimara. A total number of 575 fishes from 134 discrete fishing sites are regrouped into 51 river sectors. Results from this study permits to rank the six main Guiana rivers by their mean level of contamination: Oyapock (0.548 mg kg−1), Comté (0.624 mg kg−1), Maroni (0.671 mg kg−1), Approuague (0.684 mg kg−1), Mana (0.675 mg kg−1), and Sinnamary (1.025 mg kg−1). The contamination is however not spatially homogenous along each river, and a map of the different levels of mercury contamination in fishes is provided. Sectors of low mean Hg contamination are observed both upstream (0.471 mg kg−1) and downstream (0.424 mg kg−1), corresponding to areas without any influence of gold mining activities and areas under the influence of estuarine dilution, respectively. Anoxia and gold mining activities are found to be the two main factors responsible for the high mercury concentration in fish muscles. While mean levels of mercury contaminations are higher in anoxia areas (1.029 mg kg−1), contaminations induced by gold mining activities (0.717 mg kg−1) present the most harmful consequences to human populations. No significant differences in Hg concentrations are observed between 2005 and 2014 for neither a pristine nor a gold mining area, while Hg concentration differences are observed between former (0.550 mg kg−1) and current gold mining sites (0.717 mg kg−1).
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02001824
Contributor : Valérie Laperche <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 1:42:04 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:50:15 PM

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Régine Maury-Brachet, Sophie Gentès, Émilie Dassié, Agnès Feurtet-Mazel, Régis Vigouroux, et al.. Mercury contamination levels in the bioindicator piscivorous fish Hoplias aïmara in French Guiana rivers: mapping for risk assessment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2019, ⟨10.1007/s11356-018-3983-x⟩. ⟨hal-02001824⟩

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