World’s fish faring poorly

Pollution continues to take its toll on fish populations

Various reports in the media offer evidence that the world’s fish population is struggling, thanks to the effects of pollution.

Fish that inhabit the deeper parts of the Pacific Ocean—such as swordfish and tuna—are being recorded as containing high levels of monomethylmercury that has drifted through the atmosphere from Asian coal-burning power plants, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fish living in deep water cannot benefit from the sun’s breaking down of mercury in water nearer to the surface of the ocean.

Russia-based news site reports that a new study conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that a fracking-fluid spill in Kentucky in 2007 killed a number of fish species, including the threatened Blackside dace.

And a Sept. 4 New York Times article announced the pollutant-caused die-off of thousands of fish in China’s Fu River. The source of the “extremely high” levels of ammonia in the river was determined to be a plant owned by the Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Company. The plant was ordered to stop production while the ammonia leak is investigated.