Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 21, Number 1, January-March 2008
|57 - 61
|09 February 2008
Lead concentrations and size dependence of lead accumulation in the clam Dosinia exoleta from shellfish extraction areas in the Galician Rías (NW Spain)
Laboratorio de Ecoloxía Mariña (LEM), Facultade de Ciencias do Mar,
Universidade de Vigo, Campus Universitario, 36310 Vigo, Galicia, Spain
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 19 November 2007
To protect public health, the European Commission established maximum levels of certain contaminants permitted in foodstuffs. The maximum amount of lead allowed in bivalve mollusc is 1.5 µg g−1 wet weight. In the Galician Rías, which are important areas of shellfish production in Spain, high levels of lead have been detected in the commercial bivalve Dosinia exoleta (Veneridae). Given the environmental and socio-economical problems this could represent, Pb concentration was tested in D. exoleta from two Rías, and the relation of lead accumulation with body size studied in detail. Implications for fisheries management are also discussed in this paper. Results showed a strong dependence of Pb accumulation on body size, with lead concentrations increasing exponentially with shell length. Larger animals presented a 5-fold increase in lead concentrations above the maximum permitted level. The size limit (length beyond which D. exoleta should not be extracted for commercial purposes) was initially established at 40 mm; but a more comprehensive geographical study of Pb concentrations in individuals from 35 to 40 mm long revealed that this size limit was not protective enough, and 35 mm is proposed as a safer limit.
Key words: Metal accumulation / Pollution / Size effect / Lead / Clam / Dosinia exoleta
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2008
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