Document Type : Short Communication


Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Sowmeh Sara, Iran, P.O. box: 1144



Water Pollution is a great concern all over the world specially in closed or semi-closed ecosystems like the Caspian Sea. Among the huge array of anthropogenic pollutants heavy metals have been responsible for several disastrous event damaging for aquatic biota and the man. Heavy metals enter the Caspian Sea through land-based oil exploration with over 100 years of history and offshore oil exploration which started 1950. Major rivers of the Caspian Sea watershed also have their share in ever increasing pollution in this unique water body. Fish are the main suspects of the pollution and sadly some of the unique specie of the Caspian Sea have already been vanishes extinct regionally or even globally and some are on the brink of extinction. Several studies conducted by authors and other researchers in the riparian countries of the Caspian Sea shows an increasing trend in heavy metal load via bioaccumulation and biomagnification in various tissues of sturgeons arguably the most valuable fish on the planet and also other bony fishes of great importance for local people and fishermen which rises health concern for fish itself and human. Strict measure should be taken and implemented to control and reduce heavy metal loads into water bodies in general and the Caspian Sea in particular. Strict measures should be taken and implemented under the observation of international organization to control od reduce heavy metal pollution in the Caspian Sea.


Alturiqi, A.S., L.A. Albedair, Evaluation of some heavy metals in certain fish, meat and meat products in Saudi Arabian markets, Egypt. J. Aquat. Res. 38 (2012)45–49.
Anan, Y., Kunito, T., Tanabe, S., Mitrofanov, I., G. Aubrey, D. 2005. Trace element accumulation in fishes collected from coastal waters of the Caspian Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 51, 882-888.
Bickham, J.W., Rowe, G.T., Palatnikov, G., Mekhtiev, n A., Mekhtiev, M., Kasimov, R.Y., Hauschultz, D.W., Wickliffe, J.K., Rogers, W.J., 1998. Acute and genotoxic effects of Baku Harbor sediment on Russian sturgeon, Acipenser guildensteidti. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 61, 512–518.
Chowdhury, R., A. Ramond, L.M. O’Keeffe, S. Shahzad, S.K. Kunutsor, T. Muka, J. Gregson, P. Willeit, S. Warnakula, H. Khan, S. Chowdhury, R. Gobin, O.H. Franco, E.D. Angelantonio, Environmental toxic metal contaminants and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis, BMJ. 362 (2018) 3310,
de Mora, S., Sheikholeslami, M.R., Wyse, E., Azemard, S., Cassi, R., 2004. An assessment of metal contamination in coastal sediments of the Caspian Sea. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 48, 61–77.
Dumont, H., 1995. Ecocide in the Caspian Sea. Nature 377, 673–674. 1038/377673a0.
Foley M., N. Askin, M.P., Belanger C. Wittnich, 2022. Anadromous fish as biomarkers for the combined impact of marine and freshwater heavy metal pollution, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 230 (2022) 113153
Forouhar Vajargah, M. and Bibak, M., 2021. Pollution zoning on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea by measuring metals in Rutilus kutum tissue. Biological Trace Element Research, pp.1-11.
Forouhar Vajargah, M., Sattari, M., Imanpour Namin, J. and Bibak, M., 2022. Predicting the Trace Element Levels in Caspian Kutum (Rutilus kutum) from south of the Caspian Sea Based on Locality, Season and Fish Tissue. Biological Trace Element Research, 200(1), pp.354-363.
Gibbs, P. J., Miskiewicz, A. G. 1995. Heavy metals in fish near a major primary treatment sewage plant outfall, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 30: 667–674.
Gwimbi P., Kotelo, T., Selimo M. J. 2020. Heavy metal concentrations in sediments and Cyprinus carpio from Maqalika Reservoir –Maseru, Lesotho: An analysis of potential health risks to Fish consumers, Toxicology Reports 7 (2020) 475–479
Jarić, I., Višnjić-Jeftić, Ž., Cvijanović, G., Gačić, Z., Jovanović, L., Skorić, S., & Lenhardt, M. (2011). Determination of differential heavy metal and trace element accumulation in liver, gills, intestine and muscle of sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) from the Danube River in Serbia by ICP-OES. Microchemical Journal, 98(1), 77-81.
Kalyoncu, L., Kalyoncu, H., & Arslan, G. (2012). Determination of heavy metals and metals levels in five fish species from Işıklı Dam Lake and Karacaören Dam Lake (Turkey). Environmental monitoring and assessment, 184(4), 2231-2235.
Kosarev, A.N., Yablonskaya, E.A., 1994. The Caspian Sea. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague.
Mac Donald, D.D., Ikonomou, M.G., Rantalaine, A. L., Rogers, I. H., Sutherland, D., Oostdam, J.V. 1997. Contaminants in white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) from the upper Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 16: 479–490.
Matteo Lattuada⁎, Christian Albrecht, Thomas Wilke, 2019, Differential impact of anthropogenic pressures on Caspian Sea ecoregions, Marine Pollution Bulletin 142 (2019) 274–281
Nemirovskaya, I.A., 2016. Hydrocarbons in the modern sediments of the Caspian Sea. Water Resour. 43, 111–120.
Norouzi, M.2017. Bioaccumulation study of toxic and essential metals in muscle, liver and gills of Perca fluviatilis L. in Anzali Wetland. Wetland Ecobiology 9: 57-68.
Sattari, M., Bibak, M., Bakhshalizadeh, S. and Forouhar Vajargah, M., 2020. Element accumulations in liver and kidney tissues of some bony fish species in the Southwest Caspian Sea. Journal of Cell and Molecular Research, 12(1), pp.33-40.
Sattari, M., Bibak, M. and Forouhar Vajargah, M., 2020. Evaluation of trace elements contaminations in muscles of Rutilus kutum (Pisces: Cyprinidae) from the Southern shores of the Caspian Sea. Environmental Health Engineering and Management Journal, 7(2), pp.89-96.
Sattari, M., Imanpour Namin, J., Bibak, M., Forouhar Vajargah, M., Bakhshalizadeh, S. and Faggio, C., 2020. Determination of trace element accumulation in gonads of Rutilus kutum (Kamensky, 1901) from the south Caspian Sea trace element contaminations in gonads. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences, 90(4), pp.777-784.
Pantelica, A., Ene, A., & Georgescu, I. I. 2012. Instrumental neutron activation analysis of some fish species from Danube River in Romania. Microchemical Journal, 103, 142-147.
Poorbagher Hadi , Seyed Vali Hosseini a, Seyed Mehdi Hosseini b, Fereidoon Aflaki c, Joe M. Regenstein, 2017. Metal accumulation in Caspian sturgeons with different feeding niches, condition factor, body size and age, Microchemical Journal 132 (2017) 43–48
Tabari, S., Saeedi Saravi, S.S., A Bandany, Gh., Dehghan and A., Shokrzadeh, M. 2010. Heavy metals (Zn, Pb, Cd and Cr) in fish, water and sediments sampled form Southern Caspian Sea, Iran. Toxicology and Industrial Health, 26(10): 649–656.
Tang, W., B. Shan, H. Zhang, Z. Mao, Heavy metal sources and associated risk in response to agricultural intensification in the estuarine sediments of Chaohu Lake Valley, East China, J. Hazard. Mater. 176 (2010) 945–951.
Tolosa, I., de Mora, S., Sheikholeslami, M.R., Villeneuve, J.-P., Bartocci, J., Cattini, C., 2004. Aliphatic and romatic hydrocarbons in coastal Caspian Sea sediments. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 48, 44–60. 326X(03)00255-8.
Vali, S., Majidiyan, N., Yalsuyi, A.M., Vajargah, M.F., Prokić, M.D. and Faggio, C., 2022. Ecotoxicological Effects of Silver Nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) on Parturition Time, Survival Rate, Reproductive Success and Blood Parameters of Adult Common Molly (Poecilia sphenops) and Their Larvae. Water, 14(2), p.144.
Vajargah, M.F., Mohsenpour, R., Yalsuyi, A.M., Galangash, M.M. and Faggio, C., 2021. Evaluation of Histopathological Effect of Roach (Rutilus rutilus caspicus) in Exposure to Sub-Lethal Concentrations of Abamectin. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 232(5), pp.1-8.
Vajargah, M.F., 2021. A Review on the Effects of Heavy Metals on Aquatic Animals. Journal ISSN, 2766, p.2276.
Wesselingh, F., Neubauer, T.A., Anistratenko, V., Vinarski, M.V., Yanina, T., ter Poorten, J.J., Kijashko, P., Albrecht, C., Anistratenko, O., D'Hont, A., Frolov, P., Martínez Gándara, A., Gittenberger, A., Gogaladze, A., Karpinsky,
M., Lattuada, M., Popa, L., Sands, A., van de Velde, S., Vandendorpe, J., Wilke, T., 2019. Mollusc species from the Pontocaspian region – an expert opinion list. ZooKeys 827, 31–124. https://doi. org/10.3897/zookeys.827.31365.
Yalsuyi, A.M., Hedayati, A., Vajargah, M.F. and Mousavi‐Sabet, H., 2017. Examining the toxicity of cadmium chloride in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and goldfish (Carassius auratus). Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques, 5(2), pp.83-86.
Zeynali, F., Tajik, H., Asri-Rezaie, S., Meshkini, S., F, A. A., Rahnama, M. 2009. Determination of copper, zinc and iron levels in edible muscle of three commercial fish species from Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea. Journal of animal and veterinary advances, 8, 1285-1288.
Zhiltsov, S.S., Zonn, I.S., Kostianoy, A.G., 2016. Oil and gas pipelines in the black-Caspian seas region. In: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer International Publishing, Cham.