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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

SF-Area Anglers Beware: High Mercury Levels in Bay Area Fish

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2007 at 10:56 AM


Fish is good with a lot of things: chips and malt vinegar, rice and wasabi, lemon and pepper. Of course, it's great fried. But here's one thing it's not good with: the potent neurotoxin mercury. I'm talking to you, area anglers, especially if you fish at the Ferry Building Pier and the Berkeley Marina, among other sites.

According to an exhaustive, expensive ($4.7 million) study out today, some of the most popular species of fish to catch in Northern California have the highest concentrations of (odorless, tasteless) mercury, as a result of nearly 200 years of dumping into the bay by mining operations, leaking landfills, and others. From the Chronicle:

"On average, striped bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, carp, crappie, channel catfish and white catfish had some of the highest levels of mercury contamination, the results show."

If you do fish in the area, be sure to read up on local fish-consumption advisories.

-- Brian Bernbaum

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