Tar Sands Producing Deformed Frankenfish

It’s a sportsmens nightmare just in time for Halloween.

Reports of fish species near Canadian tar sands operations sprouting lesions,  and deformities like “pushed in faces, bulging eyes, humped back, crooked tails [and] great big lumps on them . . . you poke that it sprays water,” said one resident. Others are missing tails, and snouts.

Scientists say it’s coming from the Frankenfuel that is so dirty it emits three times the greenhouse gases of conventional oil have led to mercury warnings urging people not to eat the local fish.

No fish is an island either. Studies are showing people are hurting too. A 2009 analysis found elevated rates of cancer among the 1,200 residents of Fort Chipewyan, a native peoples community on the western shore of Lake Athabasca not far from where tar sands operations occur in Canada.

Conducted for Health Canada by Yiqun Chen of the provincial cancer board, this analysis turned up rates of malignancies affecting the biliary tract, blood and lymphatic system, soft-tissues, and lung cancers that were higher than would have been expected to occur.

NWF is fighting to stop the rush to tar sands, and the dangerous pipelines that will carry the fuel into the U.S. Sportsmen and women can play a decisive role. Learn more here.

(Image of a mutant fish from blogspot)

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Published: September 17, 2010