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State fails to alert fishermen about toxic fish

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posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 10:10 AM
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LINK TO INDY STAR

At the top of the story, the elderly man that they interview is more than a bit naive about not knowing that Indiana's waterways are polluted from wastewater plant overflows, a history of waste-chemical dumping by many companies and people that have dumped their household trash into the rivers.

And now, the State says that their literature and signage for warning fishermen about which streams are polluted and contain fish that may be dangerous to eat, is inadequate, so they stop putting up the signage and printing the information.


Environmentalists say the state has gone from bad to worse in how it warns people about toxins in fish. An annual statewide advisory on which fish to avoid eating, once available in a cumbersome, printed document, is now available only on the Internet.

The bottom line, community advocates say, is that the people who most need the information -- poor and minority residents who often eat what they catch -- are now those least likely to see it.



The annual advisory identifies which Indiana waterways and fish species have high levels of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs -- both accumulate in the body -- and how many meals a person, especially women and children, can safely eat. For example, people should avoid eating large carp and catfish, because they generally have higher levels of toxins.



LaNetta Alexander, the Indiana State Department of Health's director of environmental epidemiology, said the agency in the past printed about 10,000 of the 50-plus-page advisories annually. It stopped doing so last year after determining it wasn't practical or cost-effective to continue.


The government sure doesn't seem to be holding up their end of the bargain, huh?

JDub




posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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BTS, you are right that the gov. isn't properly informing the public...but........
Usually when you yearly renew your fishing license there is a list of fish that are unsafe to eat. I guess the problem is, is that most people don't bother to read the pamphlet that is commonly given when you renew. I wouldn't eat any fish caught in any river, anywhere. Practice catch and release.



posted on Jun, 7 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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Whaaa -

That's the thing, though. I renewed my license last Sunday at a Wally World (WalMart) that is local to me. The city that WalMart is in is not a large city by anyone's standards.

There were no warning posters, no pamphlets, no typed or hand-written notes in the sporting department warning about the hazards of eating the local fish.

We have only one hunting/fishing specialty store within 50 miles, and they do not have anything posted either.

My wife and I went for a walk next to the river the meanders through the south side of town about three weeks ago, and we saw 6 fishermen along the bank of the river. Between them, they had at least 40 rock bass that they had caught and strung, and they had full plans of cleaning them and eating them that night.

The Northern edge of my property line is a river. I know what is upstream of me (sewage plant), so we do not eat what we catch out of there. I do know of several people from the small town upstream from me that do catch and eat out of there many times each year.

Yech.

Not me.

My question and concern with this is how my State can say that their education efforts are unsuccessful so they essentially stop them, and then have no back-up plan in place to replace it.

I don't know if the people along the river had access to a computer to read about the river that they were fishing in or not as I've seen poor people at the poverty level have a computer and people making over six figures a year that don't have or use a computer at home.

I think the state should continue to warn people about the level of toxins in the fish from our local rivers.

JDub



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