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Environ Pollut. 2008 Mar;152(1):138-46. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Chemical and biochemical tools to assess pollution exposure in cultured fish.

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  • 1CIMA, University of Algarve, FCMA, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.


There is little information regarding pollutant levels in farmed fish, and the risks associated to consumption. This study was designed to assess levels of exposure to metals, organochlorinated compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylphenols (APEs) in farmed sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax from five aquacultures located in Southern Europe. Additionally, several biochemical responses (metallothionein, 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, vitellogenin) were determined as complementary tools. The obtained data indicate that pollutants exposure in farmed fish is similar to the levels reported in wild specimens from the area. Nonetheless, some biochemical responses were observed in the studied organisms, viz. metallothionein induction in Cu exposed organisms, and 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and vitellogenin induction in PAHs and APEs exposed ones. The study further supports the usefulness of the biomarker approach as a first screening method to discriminate between basal and high levels of exposure in cultured fish.

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