Sadly, Bay fish—tasty as they may be—are still not good eats.
A new study found that while some chemicals in fish are on the decline, others—like mercury and perfluoroalkyl & polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS)—remain at worryingly high levels.
Part of the problem is that chemical manufacturers often replace toxic substances that are banned with equally harmful substitutes—a frustrating situation Baykeeper scientist Ian Wren has described as a "whack-a-mole" problem.
But there are solutions. For example, sediment cleanup would help remove a lot of the toxic chemicals that the Bay's fish are absorbing. Urging regulators to adopt a more precautionary approach when approving new chemicals could also help end the cycle of one harmful chemical being replaced by another. And of course, Baykeeper will keep taking legal action to stop heavy metal and chemical pollution at the source.
Fishing provides food for many people in the Bay Area, and is a beloved cultural and recreational activity for others. We have a long way to go, but the Bay's fish can and should be safe for eating.
Photo: Lance Shields, Flickr/CC