Researchers Expect Mercury Levels In Pacific Fish To Increase
The amount of toxic mercury found in Pacific Ocean fish is expected to increase over the next several decades, claims new research appearing in the August 25 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.
Using recently-developed isotopic measurement techniques, researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii reported that they have discovered how methylmercury gets into open-ocean fish, thus infecting the human seafood supply with the potentially harmful substance.
Up to 80 percent of this highly toxic form of the element discovered in the tissues of deep-feeding North Pacific Ocean fish originates from deep within the ocean, most likely by bacteria clinging to sinking bits of organic matter. According to the study authors, the bacteria changes atmospheric mercury into organic monomethylmercury, which is capable of accumulating in animal tissues.
Furthermore, their research confirmed that the mercury found in Pacific fish near Hawaii probably travels through the air for thousands of miles before it enters the ocean as a result of precipitation, said Michigan environmental scientist Joel Blum.
Fisheries in the North Pacific are located downwind from countries such as China and India, two industrializing nations that are becoming increasingly reliant on coal-burning power plants – a primary source of mercury pollution. Blum said that their research “reinforces the links between mercury emitted from Asian countries and the fish that we catch off Hawaii and consume in this country.”
“The implications are that if we’re going to effectively reduce the mercury concentrations in open-ocean fish, we’re going to have to reduce global emissions of mercury, including emissions from places like China and India. Cleaning up our own shorelines is not going to be enough. This is a global atmospheric problem,” he added.
The researchers also discovered that mercury accumulation in seafood typically occurs in deeper waters due in part because of photochemical reactions that break down organic mercury in surface waters. The bulk of this accessible organic mercury is also being generated in the deeper parts of the ocean, they said.
“The results of our research allow us to determine which marine fish are likely to have lower mercury concentrations, and why mercury concentrations are higher in some fish compared to others,” explained Jeffrey Drazen, associate professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii Manoa. “This research is exciting because it allows us to gather new insight about both the biogeochemistry of mercury and the ecology of animals living in Earth’s largest habitat – the open ocean.”
DON'T BELIEVE A DAMN WORD YOU READ ON THIS WEBSITE!
The reader is responsible for discerning the validity, factuality or implications of information posted here, be it fictional or based on real events. Moderators on this forum make every effort to review the material posted on this site however, it is not realistically possible for our small staff to manually review each and every one of the more than 20,000 posts GodlikeProductions gets on a daily basis.
The content of posts on this site, including but not limited to links to other web sites, are the expressed opinion of the original poster and are in no way representative of or endorsed by the owners or administration of this website. The posts on this website are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or factual information on behalf of the owner or administration of GodlikeProductions. This site may contain adult language, if you feel you might be offended by such content, you should log off immediately.
Not all posts on this website are intended as truthful or factual assertion by their authors. Some users of this website are participating in internet role playing, with or without the use of an avatar. NO post on this website should be considered factual information on face value alone.
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."- Samuel Adams
"...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." --Samuel Adams
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. --John F. Kennedy
The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. --John F. Kennedy
Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind. --John F. Kennedy
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. --Albert Einstein