Heavy metals, trace elements and sediment geochemistry at four Mediterranean fish farms

TitleHeavy metals, trace elements and sediment geochemistry at four Mediterranean fish farms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKalantzi, I, Shimmield TM, Pergantis SA, Papageorgiou N, Black KD, Karakassis I
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Pages128 - 137
Keywordsfish farm, Geochemistry, Heavy metals, sediment, Trace element

Trace element concentrations in sediment were investigated at four fish farms in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Fish farms effects were negligible beyond 25-50. m from the edge of the cages. Based on elemental distribution, sediments from the farms were separated into coarse oxidized and silty reduced ones. Fish feed is richer in P, Zn and Cd than reference and impacted stations. Comparison among impacted stations and the respective reference stations shows that, in anoxic sediments, all elements had higher concentrations at the impacted stations than at reference stations while in oxic sediments, many elemental concentrations were lower at impacted stations than at reference stations. The behavior of elements and therefore their distribution is affected by changes in sediment grain size, organic content and redox regime. Elements in sediments around fish farms can be clustered into five groups according to these environmental variables. In silty and anoxic sediments, element concentrations were higher than in coarse and oxic ones. Several approaches were used to assess potential sediment toxicity (enrichment factors, geoaccumulation indices, contamination factors) as well as to assess the potential danger to aquatic life (Sediment Quality Guidelines, SQG). Cu, Zn and Fe can cause from threshold to extreme effects on aquatic life in anoxic, fine-grained sediments and As can cause threshold effects in all types of sediment around fish farms. Other elements (Cr, Pb, Mn) can also cause unwanted effects when compounded with elevated background levels. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


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