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Health officials put two fish on ‘don’t eat’ list

Date Posted: 2008-04-16

High concentrations of pesticides in two species of fish found in Okinawa waters have led to warnings from authorities not to eat them.
Chemicals DDT and PCB have been found in bora fish and Tilapia leading officials to be concerned, although they say the toxicity levels are not high. The insecticides were found in fish during studies at Ishigaki Island, Naha City’s Manko Park, Kadena Town’s Hija River, and the Shijika River in Onna Village.
Researchers from the Ehime University Coastal Environment Science Study Center and the Ryukyu University Tropical Life Study Center conducted the studies 2005~2007, but only now released their findings. They say the DDT and PCB levels are not dangerous enough to post severe threats to health. Tilapia were measuring 0.1mg PCB per gram, while bora fish were tracked at 0.09mg per gram. Fish in the Hija River had chlorane chemicals in fish, about 100 times higher than fish from Ishigaki Island.
A professor with the project, Masato Nakamura, says “there are birds that eat the fish, so they might have damage caused by these hazardous chemical substances.” The bora fish is normally listed as a non-edible fish, but Okinawans often do eat it.

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