Abstract: Fenneropenaeus penicillatus (commonly known as Jaira or Red tail shrimp) is one of the commercially important and abundant species in the coastal areas of Pakistan and export to more than 40 countries world wide. It is a good source of nutrients for human diet because of its highly rich composition of protein, calcium and vitamins. The littoral state of Pakistan is facing much environmental issues during the last many years because of increasing pollution and human induced environmental changes which have gradually declined the export of shrimps. Crustacean species are considered as the bio-indicators of toxic materials due to their high affinity to accumulate heavy metals than fishes. The study was undertaken to quantify the heavy metals like copper, zinc, cadmium and lead in the Red tail shrimp. For this purpose biosamples were collected in year 2011 to 2013 from the littoral states of Karachi city, Pakistan. Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FAAS) technique was used to analyze the Cu and Zn while Graphite Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (GAAS) technique was used to quantify the Cd and Pb. Results were compared with the WHO/FAO/FDA values. The concentrations of selected heavy metals were within the normal range in all analyzed samples except for cadmium. Bioconcentration of cadmium was found much higher than the recommended value which is an alarming condition. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied to find out the concentration variation of heavy metals in three years research study at p < 0.05. The results suggested that there is no significant effect of year wise variation on accumulation level of heavy metals in F. penicillatus..
Keywords: Fenneropenaeus penicillatus, heavy metals, littoral states of Karachi city, FAAS, GAAS.