Concentrations and relative compositions of metallic elements differ between predatory squid and filter-feeding sardine from the Indian and South Atlantic oceans

25 March 2020

Although metallic elements occur naturally, they can occur or accumulate in organisms at levels toxic to the organism and/or their consumers. Concentrations of twenty-nine metallic elements in muscle tissue from sardine Sardinops sagax and chokka squid Loligo reynaudii from South Atlantic and Indian Ocean waters off South Africa were established, for the first time, using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Chokka showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of B, Cr, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Cd, and Tl and significantly lower concentrations of V, Mn, Ti, and Mo compared to sardine. There were also significant differences in some metallic elements between the two oceans. Multivariate analyses indicated possible population structure of both species, suggesting that these analyses may be useful as a stock discrimination tool. Only two sardine samples contained quantifiable Hg. Based on South African estimated daily intake, total hazard quotient, and European Union limits for Hg, Cd, and Pb, we consider tissues from sardine and chokka in South African waters to be safe for human consumption