Monday, July 5, 2010

Incremental Contamination of the Ocean's Food Suppy

Maybe the whales are warning us. Maybe their captivating songs are saying we're too late.
Ocean Alliance scientists have published a study after nearly a decade of research that suggests sperm whales are filled with man-made toxins.  It's not all about the sperm whales, although hard to deny that they are magnificent creatures.

"These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report, according to the Huffington Post.

This study by Payne, if validated and supported by other scientists, should set off alarms that even in supposedly pristine areas like the Artic and Antarctica, there are high levels of man made toxins in the water and in the organisms that live there. Some of the toxins are metals like chromium, aluminum, mercury, etc. The sources of the pollutants can be very far away.

What is the impact on seafood that is the primary source of protein for millions of people, and on the plates of Americans several times a week? We may not be eating sperm whales, well not many of us, but we're eating large fish, top of the food chain, top predators. We have already seen studies and warnings about mercury in tuna and other large fish.

I have a feeling though with all that's going on, this red flag one will sink out of sight.

Shout out to Ocean Alliance, the organization that conducted the study, and its founder Roger Payne.

Here's a link to a good story summarizing the report and the issues for people and marine animals from the AP:

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