Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Washington shellfish toxins hit record levels

It's a bad year on the northwest US coast. Now we hear that toxic shellfish are a problem, thanks to record-setting blooms of toxic plankton on Washington shorelines.

Let's see, we have the dead zone underwater, starving birds, raw oysters making people sick at record levels, and now paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin at record levels. Yikes, what's an ocean lover to do? Backing off of shellfish is especially hard.

I'm told that most of these problems are unrelated, and not tied to human impacts. It's hard to believe that such a piling-on of problems is just an unhappy coincidence. I wonder what we'll think about all of this in 10 or 20 years. Looking back, will it be just a bad year or a sign of things to come? Regardless, I hope we see the need to get our house in order.

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