Yep! Part Deux Rant on my favorite FOOD...Fish! This RANT would NOT have happened...BUT for watching the documentary_ "The Cove".
Now, if you were a kid watching the "Flipper TV Show" from 1964-1967_ you'll remember this show.
In the 1960s, it was Ric O'Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation "Flipper." One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures must never be subjected to human captivity again. This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and "Keep Out" signs, lies a dark reality.....NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART!
I learned an awful TRUTH while watching that documentary.
Minamata disease sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease, is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning.Symptoms include ataxia,numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness,narrowing of the field of vision, and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. A congenital form of the disease can also affects fetus in the womb.
Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata, Japan in 1956.It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial waste water from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea,which, when eaten by the local populace, resulted in mercury poisoning. While cat, dog, pig, and human deaths continued for 36 years, the government and company did little to prevent the pollution. The animal effects were severe enough in cats that they came to be called "dancing cat fever."
Louis Psihoyos (the Director & Photographer) tried to get more information from the government Researchers_to no avail. So, he took them off premise to a "Sushi Bar" for Dinner. He noticed that no one ordered Sushi. They kinda laughed when he asked why...their response was "We don't eat Sushi,far tooo much mercury_(laughing) as he said he ate TUNA and other fish all the time. Their response..."You should get your blood tested"! Returning back to the States,Psihoyos had his mercury levels checked by his Doctor in Colorado...his Mercury levels was that of the victims of the Minamata Epidemic of 1956.Needless to say he does not eat certain kinds of fish now!
The Story...NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART!
So, what's a Fish Lover to do...
Take a look at this MAP of Mercury Poisoning cases...
Not to many Southerners turn their back on a "Platter of Seafood" w/ a bottle of Tabasco ...and a side of Hushpuppy's! I don't eat "catfish"(bottom-feeder)_but I love most fish, my favorite being Tilapia,Tuna(ALBACORE),Wild Pacific Salmon and Shrimp!
But, I guess everything in moderation is the key. Here's a good "Rule of Thumb" source_
No doubt,some of the ingredients in Sushi can present health risks. Large marine predators like Tuna(especially bluefin) can harbor high levels of methylmercury,which can lead to mercury poisoning when consumed in large quantity or when consumed by certain higher-risk groups including women who might get pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children.
I'm still eating my Fish!!!!!....Albacore not so often...as with everything in Life ...
The Sage Book Whisperer