Freshwater Fish Full of Mercury

A new U.S. Geological Study “found mercury in every freshwater fish from nearly 300 streams that were tested, an astonishing result because mercury has usually been associated with large saltwater fish,” according to an article on ABC news website,

The 7-year study tested more than a 1,000 fish. The USGS warns Americans to limit the amount of large predator freshwater fish they eat like WALLEYE! Hear that Michiganders? Enjoy, but limit the amount you eat.

Even worse about a quarter of all those fish have mercury levels higher than what the EPA says is safe. If you followed my blogs through a few years of the Bush Administration, the EPA was corporate friendly to say the least.

The article then defers to the National Fisheries Institute’s response to this study: “If you have a family member that’s out there fishing in a stream, beware.” That pretty much supports the story. The Fisheries Institute just wanted to make it clear that the fish you buy in a store isn’t as bad as that fish you caught in what you thought was a nice clear stream. I did a blog on this long ago. You’ve got a choice of wild caught fish with mercury or farm raised fish with PCB’s.

Since I sit in my TV room that overlooks the canal while I write this, I’m also looking at the wetlands behind my house. I can’t help but think of the huge chain of animals that call the canal home–all the little baby geese, and ducks that I’ve fed that swim up every spring, the little muskrats that run up my berm and grab one of my apples on the ground, the turtles that sun themselves on the downed logs, and all the birds in the mix including swans. I can’t help but think what we’ve done to them. Not fair, not fair at all.

And just what causes mercury in the water EVERYWHERE? Gee I wonder. Did you know that the coal lobby managed to gouge holes in the House version of the American Climate and Energy Security Act so that coalburners will still supply half of our electricity until 2025 and the rate of pollution will go unchanged for the next 15 years? According to Earthjustice, not only will they keep polluting but may expand with 27 new coalburners that will also be exempt from having to curb or capture any pollution.

When you consider the fuss Americans made at the American auto industry for producing gas guzzling, polluting SUV’s because the same American’s demanded those types of cars, you can clearly see this is a really unfair playing field as to who is towing the line on pollution or not. The coal industry is no different than oil—they are fat with money unlike our auto industry. Money talks. That’s what every other polluting industry thinks too. As Earthjustice reports, “The concessions the coal industry has gained so far have encouraged other fossil fuel lobbyists to step up their efforts to maintain the disastrous status quo.” That means some pretty hefty offers heaped on our congress people.

And everyone is already saying the Senate will never pass the House version. The Senate will undoubtedly water it down more. Unless of course we voice our opinion to our reps to move forward and not weaken the bill but fill those unfair gaps in a bill that must include all industry not just a chosen few.

We’re going to shoot off our foot before long and continue working up our leg if we don’t see that reform isn’t a choice but a necessity.


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