Levels and trends of changes in heavy metal concentrations in Baltic fish, 1991 to 1997
Bulletin of the Sea Fisheries Institute 1 (149) 2000, pp. 27-33

Lucyna Polak-Juszczak
Sea Fisheries Institute, Kołłątaja 1, 81-332 Gdynia, Poland

Key words: Baltic fish, heavy metals, concentrations, trends.

Among pollutants occurring in the marine environment, toxic metals occupy a special place. The laboratory has a special interest in monitoring the contamination of commercial fish stocks in the Baltic. It is of particular importance to provide information on toxic metals to Polish exporters who will use it to demonstrate the quality of their products and to health authorities to assist in determining the dietary exposure of Polish consumers to toxic metals. This research was conducted on the muscle tissue of the basic species of fish taken from the southern Baltic (herring, sprat, cod and flounder) in 1995-1997. The results were compared with data which have been recorded since 1991. In the period examined, changes in some heavy metal concentrations in the fish were observed. Currently, these concentrations are at a low level. Differences in toxic metal content depends on the fish species as well as on their habitat.