- Recent research has reported bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Fish from Karachi Coast and Rivers.
- Heavy Metals are being utilized in the manufacturing process of various products used at the household and commercial levels.
- The sources of heavy metals bioaccumulation in fish include domestic waste, industrial effluents, agriculture runoff, etc.
- Certain fish species along with other organisms can be used as biomonitoring species in order to indicate polluted areas.
According to the latest research, heavy metals such as Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn have been found in much higher concentrations than permissible limits. The polluted areas include the Karachi coast and riverbanks. There are many studies that have reported a high concentration of heavy metals in aquatic organisms. Heavy metals are extremely hazardous to health and the environment if found in higher concentrations. The economy of Pakistan depends on coastal areas too. Fisheries contribute to 1 percent of the national GDP. Karachi coast holds great economic values due to trade as well as many people rely on fisheries for livelihoods.
An environmental issue like bioaccumulation of heavy metals raises concerns for health complications among the residents. It was stated in the news that non-essential metals were reported to be less in concentration. The effects of heavy metals on aquatic life cannot be evaluated as it is a complex and dynamic ecosystem.
Heavy metals are being used in the various manufacturing processes of industries. Karachi is widely known as the industrial hub of Pakistan. The widespread industries are utilizing heavy metals in the processing of different products. Food processing industries also make use of heavy metals. Agricultural activities and household items contain traces of heavy metals.
The sources of heavy metals bioaccumulation in fish include generally domestic waste, industrial effluents, agriculture runoff, etc. The Karachi coast is surrounded by industries. The news source reported that gizri creek, Korangi industrial trading estate, and Bin Qasim thermal power plants could be responsible for releasing heavy metals into the seawater. The industrial effluent discharge is contaminated with toxic heavy metals.
These heavy metals cause developmental abnormalities in aquatic life. Fish growth is suppressed due to the side effects of heavy metal bioaccumulation. There are numerous scientific studies that have recorded health complications among humans who consume affected fish. Health problems are breathing disorders, cardiovascular diseases, brain disorders, etc. This is further described as exposure to heavy metals through food consumption.
Certain fish species along with other aquatic organisms can be used as biomonitoring species in order to indicate polluted areas. Biomonitoring species are used to highlight the qualitative status of the environment. It is recommended that there should be continuous monitoring of coasts through biomonitoring species.
Also check out: Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification of Toxic Chemicals
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