Biomonitoring Total Mercury in the Persian Gulf Using the Rock Oyster (Saccostrea cucullata)


1 - Dept. of Fishery, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Someh Sara, Iran 2- Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Someh Sara, Iran

2 O. Rafieyan*1, A. A. Darvishsefat2, S. Babaii1, A. Mataji1


This study is an attempt to evaluate the biomonitoring capabilities of rock oyster, Saccostrea cucullata, for mercury (Hg) pollution. The oyster and sediment samples were collected from 10 rocky habitats of Qeshm and Hormoz Islands in the Persian Gulf. The concentration of mercury in the shell and soft tissues of the oysters and sediments were analyzed using an advanced mercury analyzer. Biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) was calculated based on the ratio of Hg concentrations in soft tissues to that in sediments. The results showed that the rate of mercury accumulation in the soft tissues of the oyster was significantly higher than that in its shell (P < 0.05). There was a significant correlation between mercury concentrations in the soft tissues and the sediments (r =0.75) According to BSAF, soft tissues of the oyster were recognized as an appropriate indicator for biomonitoring mercury. The present study generally supports the usability of soft tissue of S. cucullata as a sensitive biomonitoring organ to warn us of mercury pollution in the Persian Gulf.