The following post is one of a series previewing the research that will be presented at the SETAC North America 41st Annual Meeting (SciCon2), 15–19 November 2020.
A guest post by Julie P. Avery, Nicole Misarti, Todd M. O’Hara, and Lorrie D. Rea
Do you like fish? Have you heard warnings from the FDA about consuming predatory fish such as tuna, swordfish, and shark due to high mercury? Fish are a healthy food and an excellent source of lean protein, healthy omega-3 fats, vitamin D, iron, selenium, zinc, and iodine. Fish provide all these nutrients, which are essential for human and animal health. Marine mammals in Alaska, like Steller sea lions and northern fur seals, thrive on a diverse fish diet. But what about the mercury? Since we eat some of the same fish as seals and sea lions, we can study them to understand how mercury might affect humans.
Coastal and Arctic communities are especially vulnerable to the effects of mercury contamination due to their dependence on fish and marine resources for food and sociocultural needs. According to the World Health Organization, mercury is one of the top 10 contaminants of concern for human health.Continue reading