• Daniele Kasper Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Daniele Botaro Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Elisabete Fernandes Albuquerque Palermo Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Olaf Malm Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


Mercury, fish, aquaculture, contamination, aquatic ecosystem.


Mercury occurs naturally in the environment, however, due to the diverse array of its use, the concentrations have been increase in the environment and, consequently, in the biota. This metal can occur as metallic mercury or as different organic or inorganic chemical species, being these chemical classifications important criteria to the understanding of its toxicology. The most toxic mercury species is the methylmercury, and suitable conditions and sites for methylation have been studied. Besides the environmental concentrations and the chemical species, to understand the biota concentrations a wide range of factors are important to be assessed, as age, size, food habit, sex and others. The physic-chemic environmental factors must be considered because of their effects on the Hg methylation and biota absorption. Fish study is important if to deal with aquatic ecosystem because this organism presents different food and life habits and is engaged in different niches. Moreover, when deal with human contaminations, there are the most mercury contaminated food consumed. Studies on farmed fishes have showed these fishes less contaminated than those proceeding from natural environments. However, the supplied ration to those fishes can represent an important contamination source and, because of that, should have a strict control.