Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Metal loads and biomarker suite responses in a tropical carnivorous fish indicative of anthropogenic impacts in a Southeastern Brazilian lagoon

Tropical coastal lagoons are highly productive environments exhibiting high biodiversity. However, the use of these ecosystems by local communities is of concern, since this generally leads to environmental degradation. The Imboassica coastal lagoon, located in Macaé city, in Northern Rio de Janeiro, is an important ecosystem in the state, however, already displaying signs of anthropogenic impacts. Carnivorous fish Hoplias malabaricus specimens were sampled from this impacted site, as well as from a reference area. Fish from Imboassica Lagoon presented lower condition factor, lower cholinesterase activity, and higher percentage of erythrocyte micronuclei when compared to fish from the reference site. Metals in fish from Imboassica Lagoon were always higher than Encantada Lagoon, with some seasonal differences, where some metals were higher in the rainy season compared to the dry season in muscle tissue, with the exception of Cu, Fe, Sr, and Zn; and in the liver, except for Ba, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Sr. Cr and Mn in the edible muscle portion of the fish were higher than the limits established by Brazilian and International legislations as permissible for human consumption, thus leading to concerns regarding public health risks for the local population that use fish as their main protein source.