Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Levels in Sediment, Benthic, Benthopelagic and Pelagic Fish Species from the Persian Gulf

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Science, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, Khorramshahr, Iran

2 Department of marine biology, Faculty of biological science, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

3 Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, Iran


In this study, three stations of the north Persian Gulf were analyzed in order to determine
the effect of trophic levels on the concentration of harmful PAHs in fish and sediment. In all cases,
similar distributions were observed in which benzo(a)pyrene largely predominated and
benzo(b)fluoranthene and pyrene were the second major compounds in fish tissues. The predominant
components of PAHs in sediment were acenaphthene, pyrene and benzo(ghi)perylene. Based on the
molecular weight of PAHs, the concentrations of the compounds vary among species. Netuma
bilineata, which is carnivorous, classified at a 0.49 to 3.8 trophic level and lives in association with
sediment, accumulated the highest concentrations of high molecular weight PAHs, whereas L. abu,
which is herbivorous and classified at a 0.2 to 2.6 trophic level, tended to accumulate low molecular
weight PAHs. Comparison among the stations indicated that the fish and sediment from Tangestan
estuary accumulated the highest levels of the compounds.