Are high mercury levels in fish causing a problem in ocean ecosystems?



  1. 0 Votes

    They are, although it the causal relationship is mostly in the opposite direction: the water is contaminated by mercury and the fish in turn show high levels in their system.  Often, the contamination of water comes from industrial and mining operations.  Sometimes, it comes from bacteria that processes sulfates in the ecosystem and then turns mercury into methylmercury, which is more toxic and is harder to get out of the ecosystem.  Since it is in bacteria, it is only a matter of time before it rises up the food chain from plankton on up.  Mercury has been found in fish far away from industrialized areas, which only goes to show the potency of the element.

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