If you really want to avoid mercury, stop getting immunizations or demand immunizations that don't have thimersal. At the time my son became ill from mercury poisoning (at 11-months old) I happened to be working with the EPA and a large health services organization. I had a team of top-notch environmental scientists coworkers helping me determine the source of the toxin in my son. We ruled out any potential sources except one - immunizations. His mother, who had been fishing, and eating fish with me for years showed no levels of Hg. He was a happy, smiling baby boy until he got 4 shots in one day. He never fully recovered but he has made huge improvements, in part from us chelating the mercury from his system.
So, don't let people give you sh*t about your tuna. Few know the facts on this. Mentioning tuna with mercury is just a ruse. I spoke with a local lab technician, who also is a fisherman, who has tested lots of fish. He said the most notable levels he found were in largemouth bass from the Sierra foothills.
Ferguson was previously the initial Executive Director of the Center for Science and Public Policy (CSSP), a project of the corporate-funded Frontiers of Freedom Institute (FOF).<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-2></SUP> Exxon had provided $100,000 in 2002 specifically for the "Center for Sound Science and Public Policy" (sic) as well as a further $97,000 for "Global Climate Change Outreach Activities", and a further $35,000 for "Global Climate Change Science Projects";<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-3></SUP> In subsequent years Exxon continued it support for the project including $50,000 for "Project Support - Sound Science Center" in 2003<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-4></SUP>, $70,000 for "Project Support- Science Center & Climate Change" in 2004;<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-5></SUP> $140,000 to the organization in 2005 but without a specific amount for CSPP identified, $90,000 for the "Science & Policy Center" in 2006<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-6></SUP> and $90,000 for "energy literacy" in 2007.<SUP class=reference id=cite_ref-7></SUP>
FOF's 2004 annual return submitted to the Internal Revenue Service states that for his work for CSSP Ferguson was paid $100,000 and also lists him as one of the Director's of the think tank.
I would be more concerned with the amount of sun damage one gets fishing for big tuna instead of the mercury.
I guess if you fish for em and eat em.......you could die....
but you could choke on a pork chop and have that same end result. I guess I would rather fish and take my chances than wrestle pigs in the mud.....but thats just me.
I have eaten plenty of tuna and only glow in the dark a little bit .....you will be fine
One other consideration about quality of large tuna - fighting the fish for sometimes hours leads to a buildup of lactic acid in the fish. Does that adversely impact the quality as opposed to a smaller fish that you can get to the boat quickly?
I have heard that it does and it would make sense.....I guess the whole turn the handle thingy might help along with the right gear but you do get that "devil" fish on occassion and that could make it a perfect fish to donate....if you get it on the deck of course.
You would have to eat a lot of tuna (or fish in general) for mercury to be an issue, I would not worry about it and those who have posted that there are so many other potential issues versus Mercury in the tuna meat are correct. As far as quality, I think the bigger fish are better and firmer in consistency and have more flavor. Personal opinion but the fish I brought back from my Maximus trip in October were mostly 100+ LBs and after being vacuum sealed and frozen, they are still what I would consider very high quality. Handle your fish well when caught and you will enjoy it later.
The symptoms of mercury poisoning are caused mainly by methyl-mercury exposure. Metallic mercury is converted to methyl-mercury by microorganisms in the aquatic food web making it more toxic.
In tuna and other bony fishes, the mercury is tied up as mercury-selenide; it cannot form methyl-mercury. If you do a search on "mercury selenide" you get a lot of secondary articles from fish vendors who are biased to sell more fish.
This article is from NOAA, which tends to be populated by folks who would be biased in the other direction. It is also peer-reviewed.
If consumption of contaminated fish of any species is a concern, what we should be aware of is how some aquacultured fish are raised. The density of the ponds require a lot of antibiotics and chemicals to ward off disease. I have stopped buying fish from the local fishmonger since I started long-range fishing.
I can speak from experience, and as a biologist who deals with metal contamination in fish.
The selenium/mercury relationship is still not been put to rest, or even close unfortunately. Most mercury entering the food chain comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Many studies that push the selenocysteine theory of toxicity were funded by coal industry backers and similar organizations. The theory is sound, but there is great skepticism.
What gets lost to the average Joe is the real risk:
If you are NOT a child under 15, or a woman of child bearing age, the risk of mercury poisoning from eating YFT is pretty minimal. Personally, I would limit consumption of fish to pregnant woman and kids to not more than once a week or so, but that is probably conservative.
Size of fish makes a huge difference. Large cow tuna have a much larger mercury load per gram of flesh than smaller fish. Predatory fish will accumulate more mercury, the higher up the food chain, more mercury. Pelagic predators caught from remote locations have just as much mercury as those near urban areas (as a general rule).
On a personal note, I caught a near 300# YFT and ate filets and sashimi regularly for 6 months or more (along with other mercury bombs like wahoo and dorado). I had my blood tested, and my blood mercury was about 2x above the recommended maximum. Because I am a middle aged guy, the biochemists from our lab seemed to think I had little to worry about. I never had any issues before eating that big tuna, so I am inclined to believe it was the primary source.
Stay away from tilefish and other long lived benthic dwellers, they are truly loaded with mercury.....
The biggest impact for pregnant women was 0.57 IQ points improvement due to increased Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish. If those mothers consumed fish high in methyl-mercury then "their benefits could be decreased to the point where the net effect for them could become adverse."
Pretty small numbers for pregnant women:
Second "What If" Scenario: Women of Childbearing Age All Consume 12 Ounces a Week.
Under this scenario, all women of childbearing age eat exactly 12 ounces of commercial fish per week. This scenario would require changes in consumption by most people. Twelve ounces of fish per week is about 40 pounds per year while per capita fish consumption is only around 16 pounds per year. Most people would have to increase their fish consumption substantially in order to maintain 12 ounces per week. Only a small minority (about five percent) would have to reduce consumption.
On an overall national basis, the predicted average change against "baseline" is a neurodevelopmental improvement per child of 0.038 Z-Score (equivalent to the size of 0.57 of an IQ point). This is the greatest average per-child gain in all of our scenarios due to the substantial national increase in fish consumption that would be needed for most people to achieve 12 ounces per week.
Children born to mothers who had to increase their fish consumption (most children) would generally experience increased benefits. However, if their mothers increased their fish consumption by eating a lot of fish that were relatively high in methylmercury , their benefits could be decreased to the point where the net effect for them could become adverse.
The study goes on to model the effect of scaring off older women and men from eating fish. Two different scenarios were modeled and show that eating fish reduces risk due to Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. It did not cover mercury selenide sequestration and assumes that fish with an average methyl-mercury concentration is consumed.
Coronary Heart Disease The "CHD meta-analysis model" predicts that a one percent reduction in the number of consumers that eat fish would be 130 additional deaths per year among for older women, 235 additional deaths per year among older men, and six additional deaths per year among young men. The "CHD pooled analysis" model's estimates are similar, although the confidence intervals are wider and include decreases in deaths per year. The predicted impact from an across the board reduction of 10 percent in the amount of fish consumed is substantially greater with 1,250 additional deaths per year among older women, 1,810 additional deaths per year among older men, and 59 additional deaths per year among young men in the "CHD meta-analysis model." Again, the "CHD pooled analysis model's" estimates are similar but with wider confidence intervals.
Fatal Stroke Both models predict that reduction in risk of fatal stroke is the most likely outcome from fish consumption. Where these models differ most notably is in the size of the confidence intervals. The "stroke pooled analysis model" produced confidence intervals that are considerably greater than those produced by the "stroke meta-analysis model." Larger confidence intervals mean a wider range of possible outcomes; consequently, the "stroke pooled analysis model" also predicts a small possibility that fish consumption can increase the risk of stroke, as revealed by the results of the 95th percentile confidence intervals in Table V-20.(24) There is an 87 percent probability that fish consumption is averting deaths rather than causing them, however.