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Abstract

Use of Fish as Bio-indicator of the Effects of Heavy Metals Pollution

Authman MMN, Zaki MS, Khallaf EA and Abbas HH

The present review gives a brief account of the toxic effects of heavy metals on fish. In aquatic ecosystem, heavy metals are considered as the most important pollutants, since they are present throughout the ecosystem and are detectable in critical amounts. Heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc are of the most important pollutants which effect aquatic environment and fish. They are extremely dangerous for the health of fish. Most of these metals are characterized by being accumulated in tissues, and lead to the poisoning of fish. These metals can effectively influence the vital operations and reproduction of fish; weaken the immune system, and induce pathological changes. As such, fish are used as bio-indictors, playing an important role in monitoring heavy metals pollution. Finally, some recommendations are given to treatment of different kinds of wastewaters, sewage and agricultural wastes before discharge into the aquatic systems. Also, enforcement of laws and legislations regarding the protection of aquatic environments must be taken into consideration.