Bluefin tuna is one of the largest fastest, and longest-lived migratory marine species in the world. These qualities have prompted researchers to study how various species of Bluefin tuna can be used as local and global barometers for neurotoxic methylmercury.
Neurotoxic methylmercury is the type of mercury that “biomagnifies in aquatic food webs.” Bluefin tuna accumulates this heavy metal toxin in their muscle tissues with age. This accumulation has health and safety implications for ocean and human health post-consumption.
“Our study shows that mercury accumulation rates in bluefin tuna may be used as a global pollution index that can reveal patterns of mercury pollution and bioavailability in the oceans, natural and human-caused emissions, and regional environmental features,” said John Reinfelder.