Shark fisheries have expanded due to increased demand for shark products. As long-lived apex predators, sharks are susceptible to bioaccumulation of metals and metalloids, and biomagnification of some such as Hg, primarily through diet. This may have negative health implications for human consumers. Concentrations of Hg, As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn were analysed in muscle, liver and fin fibres (ceratotrichia) from duskyCarcharhinus obscurus, sandbar Carcharhinus plumbeus, and white Carcharodon carcharias sharks from south-eastern Australian waters. Concentrations of analytes were generally higher in liver than in muscle and lowest in fin fibres. Muscle tissue concentrations of Hg were significantly correlated with total length, and >50% of sampled individuals had concentrations above Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s maximum limit (1 mg kg−1 ww). Arsenic concentrations were also of concern, particularly in fins. Results warrant further investigation to accurately assess health risks for regular consumption of shark products.
Gilbert, JM, Reichelt-Brushett, AJ, Butcher, PA, McGrath, SP, Peddemors, VM, Bowling, AC & Christidis, L 2015, 'Metal and metalloid concentrations in the tissues of dusky Carcharhinus obscurus, sandbar C. plumbeus and white Carcharodon carcharias sharks from south-eastern Australian waters, and the implications for human consumption', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 92, no. 1-2, pp. 186-194.
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