According to a new study, about one-third of the fish in Brazil’s Amazon state of Amapa have high levels of mercury concentration caused by illegal mining.
According to international media reports, the scientists from the World Wildlife Fund’s Brazil office and Brazilian research institutes have found alarming levels of mercury in more than 400 fish collected in five regions of Amapa. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Levels surpassed safety limits
With mercury levels surpassed safety limits in 77.6% of carnivorous fish, 20% of omnivores, and 2.4% of herbivores, researchers found the fish in the region unfit for human consumption.
As per the study, consumption of more than 200gm of these fish species could be lethal. Conservationist Marcelo Oliveira of WWF-Brazil was reported blaming illegal gold mining in the region for the high levels of mercury in the fish. As per reports, he said that the recent findings highlight the level of destruction being caused by illegal gold mining in the Amazon.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been time and again criticised for loss of protected lands in the Amazon, with forest covers being cleared for mining and agricultural activity. Researchers have warned that large scale human activities will accelerate the destruction of the world’s biggest rainforest.