OTTAWA, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Environment Canada scientists have
published a new study showing that mercury concentrations in fish are
not increasing over time. The study, Investigations of Mercury Concentrations in Walleye and Other Fish in
the Athabasca River Ecosystem with Increasing Oil Sands Developments
(Mercury in Fish), by Marlene S. Evans and André Talbot, will be published in the next
issue of the Journal of Environmental Monitoring.
"This is an example of the type of work our scientists are undertaking
to support our reliable, robust, and world class monitoring program for
the oil sands," said Canada's Environment Minister Peter Kent. "This
research will help build a comprehensive, scientifically grounded
understanding of baseline environmental conditions in the oil sands
region in order to properly assess changes over time."
As one of the over 700 taxpayer-funded, peer-reviewed, world-class
publications Environment Canada scientists produce on average each
year, this study sought to verify whether mercury concentrations in
fish in the Athabasca River watershed were changing over time in the
oil sands region. Scientists from Environment Canada conducted a
comprehensive study of mercury trends in fish using an extensive data
base from provincial, federal, and industry funded data sources.
The study is based on determinations of mercury concentrations in fish
caught over 1975-2011 from the Athabasca River, Clearwater River, the
Peace-Athabasca Delta, Lake Athabasca, and other surrounding lakes.
More than 1,600 fish comprising more than 630 walleye, 415 lake
whitefish, 445 northern pike, and 105 lake trout samples were analyzed.
The study revealed that mercury concentrations in fish are not
increasing over time. In addition, mercury concentrations the
Athabasca River ecosystem water and surface sediments are relatively
low and appear stable over time at levels that are similar to
concentrations observed outside the oil sands development areas in
The research paper can be found online at the Journal of Environment
Monitoring (English only): http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2012/em/c2em30132f.
SOURCE Environment Canada
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(Également offert en français)