Mercury toxicity in Bream from the Derwent River
Hi Carl, I am a semi-regular reader of your column in the Mercury (don’t read the paper on a regular basis), but I have noticed at least two photos in recent weeks of people posing with bream which have been caught in the Derwent.
The Derwent Estuary Program, which is run in part by the State Government, publishes a pamphlet on the safety of seafood from the Derwent River. I have attached a copy for you to read, but it is available at the following link.
The most important take-home message from this pamphlet is that it is unsafe to consume any bream caught in the River Derwent, as the levels of Mercury greatly exceed food safety limits (see the graph on pg 2).
It may be that you have mentioned this in your column previously (I don’t read the paper regularly enough to know if this is the case), but even if you have previously warned about the dangers of consuming Bream from the Derwent, it may not be advisable to encourage the practice of fishing for them by publishing photos of anglers with their catch. If you have not provided a warning recently, this may be a good time to do so, based on the photographic evidence from your own column.
Best wishes, and keep up the good work, it is always enjoyable to read your column.