Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) content in the shark Mustelus henlei

Published on
05. March 2020

Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) content in the shark Mustelus henlei (Triakidae) in the northern Mexican Pacific

Sergio Alonzo Medina-Morales, David Corro-Espinosa, Ofelia Escobar-Sánchez, Carolina Guadalupe Delgado-Alvarez, Jorge Ruelas-Inzunza, Martin Gabriel Frías-Espericueta, Martin Enrique Jara-Marini, Federico Páez-Osuna


Mercury and selenium were assessed in Mustelus henlei, which is a carnivorous predatory shark that is important for the coastal communities of the northern Mexican Pacific (NMP). Sixty-two individuals were sampled; muscle and liver were isolated and analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean Hg concentrations (wet weight) obtained for muscle (0.08 ± 0.10 μg g−1) and liver (0.09 ± 0.26 μg g−1) were below the allowed limits (< 1.0 μg g−1 Hg). The average Se concentration was 0.03 ± 0.01 μg g−1 in muscle and 0.13 ± 0.05 μg g−1 in liver. The Se/Hg molar ratio of muscle was 1.83; however, the selenium health benefit value (HBVSe) was of 0.08. We calculated that an adult man (70 kg), an adult woman (60 kg), and a child (16 kg) could consume 1595, 838, and 223 g/week of M. henlei muscle, respectively, without risks to health. In conclusion, the concentrations and molar ratio of Hg and Se in M. henlei muscle mean that consumption of this shark’s meat does not represent neither a benefit nor a public health risk.

Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020), DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-08198-1


Leave a Reply