The determination of mercury in fish typically involves analysis of muscles. For predicting the concentration of mercury in fish muscle on the basis of the analysis of fish scales or fins, the relationship between total mercury concentrations in fish muscles and in fish scales and fins was studied. Mercury content in fish muscles, scales and fins was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry with thermal decomposition of the sample in a flow of oxygen. A number of scale treatments were applied in order to remove impurities and to enhance the prediction quality. For scale treatment, 40 min of washing with DI water in an ultrasonic bath is recommended. A coefficient of determination r2= 0.93 for the relationship between Hg concentrations in muscles and scales was achieved for 40 fish among the different fish species tested (European bream, perch, roach) from the Hamry Reservoir, Czech Republic. With respect to fin sampling, the coefficient of determination r2 for these fish was 0.86. The analysis of fish scales and caudal fins is a useful screening tool for assessing the relative mercury contamination of monitored fish. The method of sampling scales is not suitable for fish species with small scales such as brown trout. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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