The area of the East Coast of Florida where I live is currently being polluted by a vile blue/green algae that is killing the local fish and stinking to high heaven. It has the consistency of guacamole and is caused by runoff contaminants flowing from Lake Okeechobee. This algae is not only getting the fish sick, but also the people exposed to it. This is a reoccurring problem seems to happen every year that south Florida gets above average rainfall levels. Whatever the cause is, it is certainly not good for our fishery, our health and may result in millions of tourism dollars that will be lost if the problem is not resolved soon.
This pollution problem got me to thinking about the various fish that may live through the pollution in their environment and pass those pollutants onto us fish loving, seafood eating enthusiasts.
Some time on the internet allowed me to come up with some of the most toxic fish that are swimming in our local area. The main contaminant in the fish mentioned below is mercury. Mercury is very poisonous to humans and accumulates in predatory fish as they prey upon other contaminated species of fish. As we eat the contaminated fish this mercury accumulates in our bodies as well.
Mercury has many deleterious effects upon humans. The 3 most serious are:
• Brain damage
• Liver damage
• Kidney damage
The fish that tend to have the most mercury in their tissue are listed below. These fish include:
• Kingfish (king mackerel)
• Albacore tuna
• Spanish mackerel
There are still some delicious fish out there that typically do not have high mercury levels. These fish include:
• Dolphin (mahi)
• Vermillion Snapper
The fish mentioned in this article are not necessarily bad to eat in moderation. Just like with most things in life moderation is the key to health. This article was meant to be looked at as a public service notice to those of us that eat a lot of fish. If you love to eat king mackerel, you still can but maybe eating it every day would be a bad idea.
Another thing that should be taken into consideration is that fact that fish are typically high in selenium. Selenium actually breaks down mercury in the body. This is probably why eating high mercury fish in moderation typically doesn’t cause too many health problems for most people.
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