Bioaccumulation of Metals in Tissues of Solea Vulgaris from the outer Coast and Ria de Vigo, NE Atlantic (Spain)


1 ECIMAT (Estación de ciencias Mariñas de Toralla), Vigo University, 36310 Vigo,Spain

2 Animal Anatomy Laboratory, Vigo University, 36310 Vigo, Spain

3 Marine Biotechnological Institute of Monastir,Tunisia

4 Hidrobiology Unit, Enironmental Biomonitoring Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences Bizerte, Tunisia


Ría and coastal zone are, in particular, vulnerable to heavy metals pollution. Concentrations of
10 metals in liver, muscle and kidney of the sole (Solea vulgaris) from Ría of Vigo and its coastal zone (Spain) were measured from April 2006 to February 2007 and the relationships between fish size age and metal concentrations in the tissues was investigated. Concentrations of the heavy metals in examined fish ranged as follows: Cd (0.01- 0.7), Pb (0.1- 2.5), Hg (0.01- 0.7), Cu (3.3- 46.7), Zn (15- 274), As (3- 151), Se (0.9- 18.2), Mn (0.9- 9.76) μg/g dryweight. Kidney and liver showed the highest levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. The concentration of metals was significantly affected by the sampling site and fish tissues. Our results indicated that all heavy metals were found the highest in muscle tissue. A comparison of metals concentration in fishes from both sites showed higher bioaccumulation in the exemplars captured in Ría. This indicates that there is a
trend of higher metal pollution level in the estuarine environment. Although, metals levels in the tissues in the area do not exceed contamination levels, measures are recommended for lowering heavy metals inputs into Ría of Vigo. Heavy metals in the edible parts of the investigated fish were in the permissible safety levels for human uses.