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Great Lakes Fish in Canada Heavily Polluted

ion on the safety of various types of fish issued in 2005, and another released earlier this year.

About five million kilograms of industrial pollutants are being released directly into the lakes, according to the report.

Although fish are a food source high in protein and many health experts recommend regular consumption of them, the report said it did not want to discourage people from eating fish but wanted to highlight the need for continuing action to reduce discharges of harmful chemicals into the water.

Fish advisories due to damaging levels of toxic contamination in Great Lakes fish serve as a potent warning that to safeguard the Great Lakes as a vital resource and international treasure, we must dramatically reduce pollution in the basin, it said.

The report was released to kick off Ontario Family Fishing Weekend, which runs from July 6th to July 8th.

While fish remains a healthy choice for consumers, toxic contamination levels suggest that we are still treating the Great Lakes as a toxic waste dump, said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director of Environmental Defence. We are clearly not doing enough to protect this vital ecosystem. We need stronger pollution regulations and a real plan from the federal and provincial governments to clean up the Lakes.

The toxics can really add up, said Freeman. Fish from the supermarket, from the chip stand and from the Great Lakes all contain various concentrations of harmful contaminants, which all together can have serious cumulative effects on human health.

The report makes several recommendations on how to protect public health by:

improving the information used in fish advisories; enhancing the delivery of fish advisories to high risk groups; preventing fish contamination advisories by reducing pollution from industry, sewage systems, agriculture and urban runoff; and enhancing the Canada-U.S.
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