Don’t eat fish on Friday! Or any other day of the week…
by Franke James
Banning fish entirely is a bit extreme and only necessary for those who share my retching dislike of fish.
But the troubling report issued by the advocacy group Environmental Defence does say to cut back and even eliminate some species of fresh water fish. Signs of toxic pollution that used to be found only in large fish, are present now in some mid-sized and small species. Why? The Great Lakes are even more polluted as you’ll see from the excerpts below. Fish lovers will want to check out the report for its advisories on which species are still safe to consume, and how frequently.
“The Great Lakes… provide drinking water for 40 million people… They are… home to almost 4,000 species of fish, plants and animals. Yet, pollution from industrial, municipal and agricultural sources and decades of neglect plague the ecological health of the Great Lakes. Pollution finds its way into the bodies of Great Lakes residents through drinking water, but also from eating sports fish from the lakes. While there are clear health benefits from eating fish, consumers need to be aware of the health risks associated with particular species from specific locations.”
And the shocker from the report:
“More than 92 billion tons of raw sewage is dumped into the Great Lakes annually from Canadian and U.S. sources. In 2002 alone, 627 million kilograms of industrial pollution — including methylmercury, PCBs, dioxins, furans, pesticides and a host of other chemicals — were released into the air, water and land of the Great Lakes basin, including 5 million kilograms directly into the water. Pollutants from centuries of industrial, commercial and urban development along the shores of the Great Lakes have contaminated many regions so intensely that the fish are often no longer safe to eat. These “legacy pollutants” are a significant cause of fish consumption advisories…”
If you believe the phrase ‘You are what you eat (and drink)’, then what are the polluted Great Lakes turning 40 million people into?