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Mercury levels high in some lagoon fish

US - More than a dozen fish species found in the Indian River Lagoon region - including such prized catches as spotted sea trout, King mackerel and snowy grouper - test at mercury levels so high that women of child-bearing age and young children should not eat them.

Mercury blues. Dozens of fish species in Brevard County test at high mercury levels. Photo: Rik Jesse.

Another dozen lagoon species average mercury levels high enough that public health advisories say those two groups should only eat them once a month and everybody else, no more than once a week.

The reason: The toxic metal mercury keeps raining out of the sky from local power plants, wildfires and from industry as far away as China. It sprinkles into the lagoon, making its way into the aquatic food chain.

Mercury also has collected into a toxic "hot spot" the size of Alabama located about 180 miles offshore of Brevard.

Mercury's persistent presence in the state's fresh and marine waters is prompting the Florida Health Department to strengthen its health advisories for mercury in fish. The stricter advisories should be out by next month.

Source: FloridaToday

the Fish Site Editor

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