Corresponding Author

Siraj Muhammed Abdulla

Document Type

Research Article


Heavy trace metals such as arsenic, cobalt, chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, selenium and lead, in addition to some micronutrients such as manganese, copper, iron and zinc were analyzed in water, sediment, and tissues of three edible fishes (Capoeta trutta, Arabibarbus grypus, Cyprinus carpio) and two gull species (Chroicocephalus genei and Larus michahellis) from Derbendikhan Lake in Sulaymaniyah governorate, Kurdistan region of Iraq during winter, spring and summer seasons. The content of heavy metals in the fish species differed depending on the season, feeding status and sediment quality which in turn biomagnified in gull tissues. The indices of bioaccumulation factors from water and sediment (BAFw and BAFs), bioconcentration factor (BCF), biogeochemical index (I-geo) and pollution load index (PLI) between concentrations of selected heavy metals in fish tissues, bird organs, sediments and water indicated that there is direct accumulation of metals from the water and sediment to the fish and then to the higher trophic level. Seasonal variations of heavy metal levels in water and sediment samples indicated high levels during spring season; however, fish tissues indicated elevated concentrations during the dry season. Sediment results for heavy metals were higher than that in water and tissues of gull and fish species. Correlation coefficient (P < 0.05) were found between heavy metals in sediment, fish, water and bird. The current study assumes that various metals were present in the fish tissues at different levels, but these exceeded maximum levels permitted by WHO/FAO particularly for lead, mercury and zinc; thus, the fish from these areas are generally unsafe for human consumption.



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