I agree with Craig's points, except that I wonder whether the reduction of
mercury is a medium-term or long-term proposition. I don't know the
residence time for mercury in the ocean, can someone enlighten us on that
Also, what is the spatial distribution of mercury? The best-known incidents
have involved high concentrations in bays and lakes, but are the oceans all
equally impacted? Is there spatial variation in the mercury load of fish
These are not rhetorical questions, I really do not know the answers. But I
do think that these are issues that need to be addressed if we want to deal
effectively with the mercury problem.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Harris, Craig" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: Editorial on Mercury
i agree that, in the short run, as a matter of public policy the
government needs to provide authoritative, credible and valid advice to
women of child bearing age about the consumption of fish, in an effort
to increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and decrease the
consumption of mercury . . .
however, all the fuss and focus on the best warning seems to me to
obscure the more important, medium-term point . . . as nations and as
international organizations, we need to figure out how to reduce the
mercury content of otherwise healthful fish and seafood . . . that
requires developing a reasonably accurate understanding of the
anthropogenic sources of mercury in fish and seafood, and developing and
implementing policy to reduce, as quickly as possible, as much as
possible, those sources . . .
i hope that the incoming u.s. administration will put at least as much
effort into reducing the mercury content of fish and seafood as it does
into resolving the two meal limit issue . . .