Investigation reveals sharks found on Chinese vessel held in 2017 had high concentrations of mercury

An investigation carried out by the San Francisco University of Quito found that the sharks found on the Chinese vessel Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, which was detained in Galapagos 2017, had high concentrations of mercury.

Valeria Ochoa, a researcher at the higher education center, pointed out that 73 samples belonging to six species were analyzed. Five of these are classified as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The results revealed that the lowest concentration, 0.73 milligrams of mercury per kilogram of wet weight, was found in thresher sharks. Meanwhile, the highest value (8.29 milligrams of mercury per kilogram) belongs to silky sharks.

The levels found in all six species are not tolerable for human consumption.

Laurence Maurice, director of research in environmental geochemistry at the French Research Institute for Sustainable Development IRD, commented that the weekly consumption of a shark fillet, of any of these species, exceeds the maximum intake value proposed by the World Organization of the Health (WHO).

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