Assessment of total mercury content in tissues of Mullus argentinae in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This study has as objective to determine total mercury (Total Hg) levels by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in 134 individuals edible part of Mullus argentinae, in two different fishing areas and two seasons in Rio de Janeiro State. Also, proximate composition was performed. Total Hg results in wet weight basis ranged from 0.0867 to 0.7476 µg.g-1 in muscle; 0.0023 to 0,1034 µg.g-1 in flippers; and 0.0177 to 0.1849 µg.g-1 in skin. Mean evaluated moisture was 73.39%; protein was 18.76%; lipid concentration of 5.36%; carbohydrates of 2.35%; and ashes were 0.85%. Results showed that Total Hg contents was lower than accepted limits established by regulatory organization. Higher averages were observed in muscle (0.2441 µg.g-1) when compared with skin (0.2386 µg.g-1) and flippers (0.0195 µg.g-1). In general, samples collected on summer showed higher values of total Hg when comparing to winter. Regarding beach areas there was no significant difference (p>0.05). We can conclude that this specie should be cautious consumed because of total Hg bioaccumulation characteristics, although neither levels were above limits established.