Report: Fishing Toxics - Mercury Contamination of Fish in West Bengal
By: Toxics Link, Source: Toxics Link Website, Date: April , 2010
Fish is a popular human food. Over two and a
half billion people globally obtain their daily nutrient intake through
fish. Over 100 million tonnes of fish is consumed each year globally.
In India too, estimates suggest that over 50 percent of the population
eat fish regularly, and over 30 of its 1.2 billion population earns a
livelihood through fishing. It is particularly an important poor
personís diet in developing countries. Contamination of this vital food
is a key issue. However, it is probably the least explored in developing
countries. Alongside, mercury is an obnoxious pollutant, which
if consumed can have adverse effects on human health.
Fish is a major nutrient and a diet for many in
West Bengal. What if this popular human food is found to be contaminated
with mercury, due to the contaminantís presence in fresh water bodies
and lakes in the state of West Bengal? This might also pose a great
threat to contamination of rivers and water bodes in other states, which
have not been examined at all.
Toxics Link in association with DISHA
therefore felt responsible for highlighting this grave issue of mercury
contamination of fish in West Bengal, on the basis of a scientific
study conducted in the lab, and have come up with a report, which
clearly shows that many types of fishes have high mercury content. The
research by Dr Sanatanu Chacraverti and Dr Abhay Kumar is both
scientific and exploratory.