Title: Eateries Get Fish From Unclean Lakes
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000746/00001
 Material Information
Title: Eateries Get Fish From Unclean Lakes
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Tampa Tribune
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Tampa Tribune Article January 2, 1987
General Note: Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 22
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000746
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

and ,.
rred Puerto Rican Gov.
ha l Rafael Hernandez
iclals Colon said the
hotel had no
Juan sprinkler system
Juan because it is not
required by Puerto
vaca- Rican law. The
iight- governor said
of a authorities were,
;each trying to determine
AP photo if the fire was set,
Jpont Amee Dorbecker, 14, of Amarillo, Texas, who survived the deadly but another official
blaze, arrives Thursday for a meeting with officials. said it was arson.

Eateries get fish

from unclean lakes
Scientists and the leader of
Florida's fishing industry said
testing fish is a logical step.

Tribune Staff Writer
"LAKELAND Tons of catfish and Nile perch
caught in polluted Florida waters are shipped to restau-
rants and supermarkets around the nation without rou-
tine testing of the fish for toxic chemical residues.
a Several scientists contacted by the Tribune, along
with the leader of Florida's fishing industry, said testing
fish is a logical step for the state.
.- More than 479,000 pounds of fish were taken in 1985
from Polk County's lakes, which are among the most
polluted in the state, according to state game commis-
sion and environmental officials.
Among them are lakes Hancock and Banana.
"It (Han'cock) ranks right up there as one of the
poorest lakes in the state," said Joe Hand, a state De-
partment of Environmental Regulation specialist on
lake water quality.
There are no data available on specific chemical pol-
lutants found in the two lakes, Hand said. But an exam-
Tribune photo by LARRY ALSPAUGH pie of the environmental insults suffered by the lakes is
tees scoop netted tilapla and catfish caught in Lake Hancock. See FISH, Page 4A




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From Page IA
the effluent discharged into them
from Lakeland's Glendale Street
sewage treatment plant.
An analysis of the effluent found
various amounts of mercury, lead,
cadmium and arsenic, according to
a June 1986 report from the city of
Lakeland lab. The effluent also con-
tains complex hydrocarbons -
chemical wastes from area industry.
The problem of fish taken from
polluted waters in Florida is not lim-
ited to Polk County. The St. Johns
River, a major source of commer-
cial catfish, has pollution problems.
There were 2.9 million pounds of
catfish caught in the St. Johns River
in the one-year period ending June
30, 1985, according to fish commis-
sion biologist Marty Hale.
Elevated levels of hydrocarbons
and heavy metals were found in St.
Johns fish in 1983 and 1985, studies
by Jacksonville University marine
biologist Quinton White show. White
has been seeking the cause of ulcers
S discovered on some fish in the river.
"While there is no immediate
eS health hazard (from St Johns fish),
there is enough of a potential hazard
to warrant monitoring," White said.
The exact size of Florida's com-
mercial, freshwater catch is not
known, said Bob Wattendorf, assist-
ant director of fisheries for the fish
commission. But figures compiled
ful and for specific areas such as Lake Oke-
'er was echobee, where the catch was 6.2
assumed million pounds in fiscal 1984-85, give
ke Hall an idea of the magnitude of the in-
d prac- dustry.
ears in Lake Okeechobee has garnered
South considerable attention recently be-
cause agricultural runoff has pol-
putable luted the lake and caused it to be-
tapping come choked with algae.
d from When lakes such as Okeechobee
classes and Hancock 'show such obvious
ned pa- signs of deterioration, it is only logi-
d per- cal to monitor the fish that swim in
other them, said Chris Schmitt, a scientist
at the National Fisheries Research
tal). Center in Columbia, Mo.
ail that Routine monitoring of fish taken
journal from polluted waters is a good idea,
on the said Jerry Sansom, executive direc-
Samuel tor of Organized Fisherman of Flor-
ida, a commercial fishing trade as-
licens- sociation.
practic- "We don't want to put any unsafe
moved or unwholesome products on the
market," Sansom said. "It's incum-
horities bent on the state to see if there are
tried to any problems there."

Florida's Chemical Residue Lab
In the Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services does not
regularly test freshwater fish be-
cause they have had no indication of
'a contamination problem, lab chief
George Fong said.
In fiscal year 1985-86, the lab
tested only 54 seafood samples, Fong
said, almost all of which were from
salt water. None of the tests showed
contamination levels in excess of the
Limits set by the federal government.
Such small-scale testing is un-
likely to result in meaningful data,
according to Michael Connor, a ma-
rine biologist at the Battelle labs in
Ducksbury, Mass., who conducted a
study on the risk of eating fresh-
water fish at the Harvard School of
Public Health.
The study found that pesticide
contamination is an average of 10
times higher in freshwater fish than
in saltwater species. It also found
that eating freshwater fish carries
with it a small increased risk of can-
Other states with significant
freshwater fishing such as Michi-
gan, Missouri, New Jersey, Wiscon-
sin and California routinely test
the fish.
In New York, the Department of
Health issues consumption adviso-
ries based on data from the state's
annual fish sampling and testing pro-
An example of one New York ad-
visory issued to the news media for
Canadice Lake stated: "Lake or
brown trout over 21 inches, EAT
New York fish have been con-
taminated by some of the same sub-
stances found in Lakeland's treat-
ment plant effluent as well as with
pesticides that have been used by
Florida's citrus industry, according
to Tony Forti of the Bureau of Toxic
Substances Assessment in Albany,

caanuum and mercury as contami-
nants found in New York fish.
Dieldrin was used by the citrus
Industry to kill root weevils before
being banned more than a decade
ago, according to Joe Knapp, a
scientist at the Lake Alfred Citrus
Research Center. Chlordane was
used to kill termites in citrus trees,
Knapp said. Although Knapp said he
had no way of knowing if the pesti-
cides have found their way into Cen-
tral Florida lakes, he said that class
of pesticides tend to persist in the
environment for a long time before
breaking down.
"Chlordane and dieldrin are the
kind of compounds you would worry
about," said Massachusetts marine
biologist Connor.
Although the federal Food and
Drug Administration has tested
some samples of fish flesh in the
past, FDA does "virtually no fresh-
water fish testing because of the
lack of interstate commerce," said
Terry Forrest, supervisory investiga-
tor of FDA's Orlando office.
When Forrest was told that tons
of Florida freshwater fish are
shipped out of state he expressed
Recent reports from the U.S.
General Accounting Office to Con-
gress cited shortcomings of the
FDA's program to sample pesticides
and said, "'FDA does not regularly
test food for a large number of pesti-
cides that can be used or may be
present in food."
Meanwhile, almost 5,000
licensed freshwater fishermen con-
tinue to cast their nets in polluted
If people in Florida expect to
have edible fish, there has to be
stricter enforcement of water qual-
ity regulations, industry leader San-
som said.
"We don't want you to have to
eat chicken at Red Lobster," Sansom

Domestic to be cut, not military

New York Times News Service
Reagan's new budget proposes $1.8
trillion in military spending in the
next five years but would slash fed-
eral farm aid by more than half and
sharply curtail the growth of many
other domestic programs over the
ccamp rnriAd

Democrats in control of both houses,
is likely to discard much of Reagan's
budget, that budget seems to take ac-
count of some of the political opposi-
tion his proposals have encountered
in the last six years.
Medicare and Medicaid, the
health programs for the elderly and

Confidential documents with de- the poor, would continue growing.
s liat of the budget to be submitted to

of his fraud to the Scientists say chronic exposure Congress Monday show Reagan will
ring P t.The ost to low levels of toxic substances can propose an overall budget of IN TEMPLE TERRACE
Ra y but produce disease in people after a $1,024.3 billion for the fiscal year Buy a lot, buid at y leisure.
peral He was sen- period of time. While the precise 1988, with a deficit of $107.8 billion, | $50'- 90's
e years in prison, health effects of eating contaml- just below the target set by law for D Cho from n model homes
there Is Abraham nated fish are not known, many of the year. $ t0-
s Czech medical de- the contaminants are suspected of Even though Congress, with ( I, -C.1447
Suncowered' in the
the OU Educational
ir Foreign Medical
,notlhi more came
i. according to attor-

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