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Evaluation of Metal Pollution in Wetlands Using Fish as an Indicator

R. Jayakumar, S. Muralidharan


The current study has attempted to document the heavy metal pollution in wetlands using fish as an indicator. Heavy metals are one of the most toxic, persistent and widespread groups of contaminants in aquatic systems. Their effects may often occur and remain unrecognized at the individual level but slowly, over a period of time, show up at a population level. Over a few decades globally there has been growing interest in determining levels of heavy metals in the aquatic environment and public food supplies, particularly fish due to their known hazards. In India heavy metals although have not created any major problems, varying magnitudes of heavy metal contamination do exist in various biotic and abiotic components. Information on heavy metal contamination in fishes lies scattered and many of them do illustrate the toxic effects at laboratory conditions. Further information on the suitability of fishes for human consumption, in the perspective of metal contamination, is limited. Comprehensive information on heavy metal contamination in fishes all over the country from freshwater wetland ecosystems is not available. Wetlands besides serving as excellent stocking grounds for many species of commercial importance, also support agricultural activities and meet the requirements of the local community. Further, they also act as excellent groundwater recharging source. Today, many wetlands are converted into solid waste dumping yards and to drain industrial and domestic effluents. It is very painful to note that many of the wetlands are presently at the brim of extinction.

Keywords: Fish, Indicator of Metal contamination, Wetlands, Suitability of human consumption

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