Distribution of heavy metals in marine bivalves, fish and coastal sediments in the Gulf and Gulf of Oman

Mar Pollut Bull. 2004 Sep;49(5-6):410-24. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2004.02.029.


An assessment of marine contamination due to heavy metals was made in the Gulf and Gulf of Oman based on marine biota (fish and various bivalves) and coastal sediment collected in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during 2000-2001. Sediment metal loadings were generally not remarkable, although hot spots were noted in Bahrain (Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn) and on the east coast of the UAE (As, Co, Cr, Ni). Concentrations of As and Hg were typically low in sediments and the total Hg levels in top predator fish commonly consumed in the region were < 0.5 microg g(-1) and posed no threat to public health. Very high Cd concentrations (up to 195 microg g(-1)) in the liver of some fish from southern Oman may result from food-chain bioaccumulation of elevated Cd levels brought into the productive surface waters by upwelling in the region. Very high As concentrations (up to 156 microg g(-1)) were measured in certain bivalve species from the region. Although not certain, the As is probably derived from natural origins rather than anthropogenic contamination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fishes
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Metals, Heavy / pharmacokinetics
  • Mollusca*
  • Oman
  • Water Pollutants / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants / pharmacokinetics


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants