INTEGRATED USE OF DIFFERENT FISH RELATED PARAMETERS TO ASSESS THE STATUS OF WATER BODIES
Freshwater bodies receive high levels of different toxicants. Since fish are typically situated at the top of aquatic food chains, they have a good potential to be used as indicators of water pollution. Assessment of the presence of pollutants and their toxicity can be efficiently performed by the combined use of analytical chemistry, bioassays and applied mathematics. In this study, we present the general approach of the integrated use of different fish related parameters to assess the status and pollution levels of waterbodies. We discuss our previous experiences within the field of analytical toxicology, toxicological pathology and toxicity testing, as well as biomathematical and statistical methods that are able to provide for integration of results acquired by each of the specific methods. We discuss advantages and shortcomings of each of the methods, and present necessary future steps in the method development. Since the industrial and domestic wastewaters in Serbia are still not processed before being released into watercourses, they pose a serious risk for aquatic ecosystems and public health. Consequently, described pollution indicators and genotoxicity parameters represent an essential tool for efficient monitoring of aquatic ecosystems. Methodological approach presented here might be of interest for scientists and managers dealing with the ecotoxicological research and monitoring of freshwater ecosystems.