High cadmium and mercury concentrations in the tissues of the orange-back flying squid, Sthenoteuthis pteropus, from the tropical Eastern Atlantic

Abstract : The orange-back flying squid, Sthenoteuthis pteropus, plays an important role in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean (ETA) pelagic food web, as both predator and prey. Specimens of S. pteropus were caught off the Cape Verde Islands and concentrations of Ag, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, and Zn were measured in the digestive gland. Among the analysed elements, Cd showed the highest average concentration with values among the highest ever recorded in cephalopods. In addition to the digestive gland, Hg concentrations were also analysed in the buccal mass and mantle tissue. Among the three tissues, buccal mass showed the highest Hg concentrations. In females, Hg concentrations in the buccal mass were positively correlated with stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) and mantle length, showing both bioaccumulation with age and bioamplification along the trophic levels. High Cd and Hg concentrations in the digestive gland and muscle respectively would lead to elevated exposure of squid-eating top predators such as yellowfin tuna, swordfish or dolphinfish, which are commercially harvested for human consumption. This study provides a deeper understanding of the trace element contamination in an abundant and ecologically important, but poorly studied pelagic squid in the ETA.
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A. Lischka, T. Lacoue-Labarthe, H.J.T. Hoving, J. Javidpour, J. Pannell, et al.. High cadmium and mercury concentrations in the tissues of the orange-back flying squid, Sthenoteuthis pteropus, from the tropical Eastern Atlantic. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Elsevier, 2018, 163, pp.323-330. ⟨10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.07.087⟩. ⟨hal-02014990⟩

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