Skip to main content


Title: An environmental assessment of mercury in mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) in the Mersey Estuary : final report
Author: M.S. Johnson
Author: S.E. Collings
Document Type: Monograph
The Mersey Estuary is still regarded as a severely degraded ecosystem due to the substantial amounts and diverse range of pollutants it receives from industrial, agricultural and domestic origins. Recent studies of flatfish and benthic invertebrates in the estuary have shown elevated levels of a range of metals, especially mercury and lead, as well as chlorinated organic pollutants, notably PCB's and pesticides.(NRA.1995) Pollution monitoring of the British coastline by the Joint Monitoring Group of the Oslo and Paris Commissions has included sampling and analysis of the sessile, suspension-feeding bivalve, the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. This species is central to most of the national and global Mussel Watch" biomonitoring programmes for chemical pollution. However, the information available for this species as regards the concentrations of European Union List I metals (Directive 76/464/EC).particularly mercury, is fragmented. Yet mercury contamination is an issue of long-standing significance to the Mersey Estuary because of substantial historic inputs of this element into the upper reaches of the estuary. In December, 1993 the Industrial Ecology Research Centre at Liverpool University was commissioned by the National Rivers Authority to develop a database for mercury in mussels based upon monitoring the local mussel beds and other populations (eg. on groins, landing stages etc.) of the inner and outer Mersey. This is the final report submitted on completion of the project.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: 1995
Publication Place: Liverpool
Subject Keywords: EstuariesWater qualityAgricultural pollutionIndustrial pollutionHeavy metalsMercuryMonitoringBioaccumulationMethodology
Geographic Keywords: Mersey Estuary catchment
Taxonomic Keywords: Mytilus edulis
Extent: n.p. [73]
Total file downloads: 301

Download PDF    Display PDF in separate tab