Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in two morphotypes of African large barb Labeobarbus intermedius (Osteichthyes: Cyprinidae) in Lake Hawassa, Ethiopia
Water and muscle tissue samples from two morphotypes of the African large barb Labeobarbus intermedius collected from three sites in Lake Hawassa in 2012–2013 were analysed for eight heavy metals, including Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. Five metals (Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn) were detected in fish muscle samples, whereas only Cr, Cu and Ni were detected in water samples. Of the five metals detected in the muscle samples, Cu and Zn were present in higher concentrations in the golden morphotype, whereas Cr, Mn and Ni were found in higher concentrations in the silver morphotype. Bioaccumulation factor (BAF) values indicated that Cr, Cu and Ni have a tendency to accumulate in fish muscle in amounts exceeding those in water. In both morphotypes the highest concentrations of Zn and Mn were detected at the Hospital site, whereas the concentrations of Cr, Cu and Ni were highest at the Tikur Wuha site. Chromium, Cu and Ni concentrations recorded in fish muscle at all sampling sites exceeded the safe limits recommended by FAO/WHO and UNESCO, suggesting that water and fish from Lake Hawassa are contaminated with heavy metals originating from factories, a hospital and agricultural activities in proximity to the lake.
Keywords: fish, muscle, pollution, water