Friday, November 9, 2012

Yuck, Just Yuck

New study shows Anacostia fishermen are sharing, consuming contaminated fish
A yearlong survey of anglers along the Anacostia River has confirmed that many fishermen are catching, sharing and consuming contaminated fish.

While fishing advisories in Maryland and Washington, D.C., have been in place for more than two decades, these warnings are often not seen, understood or listened to—and as many as 17,000 residents could be consuming fish caught in the Anacostia.
Railroad Bridge on Anacostia River.  Note trash...
Having been one of the the few people who have actually boated up the Anacostia River from it's confluence with the Potomac to Bladensburg, Maryland (a trick that can only be performed when the tide is low enough to slide a small boat under the railroad bridge at Anacostia Park), and having the seen the "flocks" of people fishing on it's banks (a handful per day at best, and only when the sun is shining), I think this study just lost a lot of credibility in my mind.

Located less than one mile from the nation’s capital, the Anacostia River has long suffered environmental degradation. Polluted runoff from urban streets and hazardous waste sites has caused toxic chemicals to build up in the water and in the bodies of fish, which could cause disease or development disorders in those who consume them.
A whole lot less than one mile; almost all of the tidal Anacostia is actually within the boundaries of the nations Capital.  Check a map.  I can't believe the EPA lets writing this shoddy get by.

According to the results of a survey that studied the social behavior of Anacostia anglers, a complex set of factors is driving the sharing and consuming of locally caught and potentially contaminated fish: past experience and present beliefs, a lack of awareness of the health risks involved and an overriding desire to share their catch with those who might otherwise go hungry.
I think it's a case of just not giving a $#!*.

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