Metal bioaccumulation levels in different organs of three edible fish species from the river Ravi, Pakistan

River Ravi Lahore Urban and industrial effluents Major carps Metals contents of fish.


  • Hafiz Abdullah Shakir Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54590, Pakistan
  • Javed Iqbal Qazi
    Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry School of agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK.
  • Shaukat Ali Department of Zoology, The University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad
March 21, 2015


Metals bioaccumulation in five organs of Cirrhinus  mrigala, Labeo  rohita and Catla catla captured from three industrial and sewage polluted downstream sites (Shahdera = B, Sunder = C and Balloki = D) were compared with a non-industrial upstream site (Siphon = A) during high (post monsoon) and low (winter) flow seasons of river Ravi. Mean concentrations of metals were significantly higher in low flow than the high flow season. Pattern of metal accumulation in the studied organs was: Zn > Fe > Mn > Cu > Cr > Pb > Ni > Hg > Cd. Kidneys showed mostly greater metal bioaccumulation than intestines, hearts, eyes and gills. Among fish species, the highest concentrations (µg/g dry weight) of Cr (3.77), Zn (56.22), Mn (8.95), Ni (1.70) and Hg (1.60) and lowest of Pb (2.53) were detected in C. mrigala whereas Cu (7.19), Fe (62.11) and Pb (2.64) appeared higher while Zn (52.69), Mn (7.82) and Ni (1.41) with lowest concentrations in C. catla. In contrast, lower concentrations of Cd (0.15), Cr (3.16), Cu (7.06) and Fe (54.18) were recorded in L. rohita. Accumulation of the metals was significantly different in organs among the different sampling sites. Based on metals accumulation pattern, second downstream site (Sunder) identified as the most polluted site due to untreated industrial and municipal discharges. Measured elevated levels of metals concentrations in fish organs indicated potential health risks for the fish and the food chain.