Less Coal for Safer Tuna!

Less Coal for Safer Tuna!

Nicholas S. Fisher and his team researched the levels of methylmercury of tuna caught in the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012, and had positive news. The levels have decreased at a rate of 2 percent per year (almost 20 percent in over a decade), and was shown to be parallel to the declines in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants that end up in the air.

Bluefin tuna, which often ends up as sushi, has the highest levels of mercury of any type of tuna. Yellowfin tuna has a more moderate level, while skipjack tuna has a relatively low level. Since tuna are found near the top of the marine food chain, mercury in the fish they eat accumulates in their bodies (bioaccumulation). “Fish acquire about 95 percent of mercury from their diet,” says Fisher.

Fisher and his team would like to study whether methylmercury found in tuna’s brain affects stheir swimming patterns and interactions with other fish. To read more about the┬áresearch, click here.

The question we pose to you is: A decrease in emmisions from coal-fired power plants could also create a decrease in what?

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