Assessment of trace metal pollution in sediments and intertidal fauna at the coast of Cameroon
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Coastal systems act as a boundary between land and sea. Therefore, assessing pollutant concentrations at the coast will provide information on the impact that land-based anthropogenic activities have on marine ecosystems. Sediment and fauna samples from 13 stations along the whole coast of Cameroon were analyzed to assess the level of trace metal pollution in sediments and intertidal fauna. Sediments showed enrichment of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn. However, pollution of greater concern was observed for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn at the northern stations. Some sites recorded trace metal levels higher than recommended in sediment quality guidelines. Species diversity was low, and high bioaccumulation of trace metals was observed in biological samples. Some edible gastropod species accumulated trace metals above the safety limits of the World Health Organization, European Medicine Agency, and the US Environment Protection Agency. Although industrial pollution is significant along Cameroon's coast, natural pollution from the volcano Mount Cameroon is also of concern.