Abstract

Contamination by dangerous heavy metal in the estuarine environment has risen with concern to the safety of coastal fish as seafood. Anthropogenic emission in the coastal areas becomes the primary source of heavy metal pollution in the aquatic environment, which then accumulates in fish species. Therefore, marine fish has a potency to be used as a bioindicator for heavy metals contamination in the coastal environment, since it may vary, as the results of marine hydrodynamics. This research presents seasonal variations (west monsoon, east monsoon, and intermediate monsoon) of heavy metals accumulation in fish from the coastal region of Cirebon, Indonesia. Three types of economic fish (Scatopagus argus, Siganus canaliculatus, and Nibea albifor) were taken, and the heavy metals (Cr, Co, Cu, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb) content were examined by inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results showed a significant difference (p<0.05) of seasonal variation of heavy metals concentration in seawater and sediment. The contamination in seawater was higher during the east monsoon season, while the contamination in sediment was higher during the west monsoon season. The observation was also revealed variation on heavy metals accumulation in fish species. However, this study found no significant correlation (p>0.05) between the concentration of heavy metals in the environment and fish. Consequently, precaution is needed when using fish as a bioindicator for heavy metals contamination in coastal environments.

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