Monday, December 17, 2007

Fishing for disease

Just a brief note as I prepare a longer (and more depressing article) on farmed fish - salmon in particular. Hearing how local wild caught Connecticut River brood stock salmon, and their offspring, had to be killed off this month after Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN) virus was detected in a few returning fish, I decided to take a closer look at the relationship between farmed fish and disease in wild fish.

It’s not a pretty picture, and although the link between IPN in our few and very precious local salmon is unclear, there’s plenty of evidence indicating that fish farming has increased disease in wild fish populations. Additionally there are a multitude of other problems that require attention – before farmed fish in a safe (and by this, I mean environmentally sound) manner.

For a quick read on the topic check out “Farming the deep blue sea,” an article about moving fish farming from near shore or coastal areas to offshore, published last spring in Environmental Science and Technology or more recently, Parasites from fish farms driving wild salmon to extinction in the news section of the journal Science.

So - enjoy your salmon in ignorant bliss over the holidays while you can. I'll be posting more on this, particularly the impacts of coastal and near-shore salmon farming in excruciating disease ridden detail later, after the new year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bisphenol A in the news again

For those interested in reading more about the estrogenic plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just published its own review of BPA literature in response to the recently released National Toxicology Program (NTP) report, which according to the Sentinel, found "bisphenol A to be of some concern for fetuses and small children. It found that adults have almost nothing to worry about."

The article discusses conflicting conclusions by two different panels one convened by the NTP the other by National Institutes of Environmental Health and Safety) and NTP's recently released BPA report.

The Sentinel analyzed 258 studies, although a search of the links provided along with the article didn't lead to a list of those articles, nor the depth of their analysis, and who actually did the analysis, they do provide a graphic summarizing general conclusions of each study (found an effect, vs. did not find effect or were not looking); the dose range (low verses high); and the funding agency for each study (industry, nonindustry.)

If you want to read more about the scientific reports (those produced by government panels rather than the Sentinel), check out what J.Lowe has to say over at Impact Analysis in his blog about the "Tangled story of bisphenol A."

Cross posted from the earthportal forum