Thursday, February 09, 2006

Toxic waste in Sydney

Toxic waste in Sydney Harbour has forced authorities to end centuries of commercial fishing, warn recreational anglers not to eat too much harbour fish, and undertake a A$200 million (US$150 million) clean-up programme.
The New South Wales state government announced on Thursday an end to commercial fishing after tests showed the level of cancer-causing dioxin in fish was almost 100 times World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended maximum levels.
The state's Primary Industry Minister Ian Macdonald said the dioxin, a key ingredient of the Agent Orange defoliant used in the Vietnam War, was the result of years of industrial pollution and that further fish testing would occur.
The NSW government will spend A$5.8 million buying back fishing licences and compensating some 40 fishermen, some of whom have seen generations of their families haul harbour fish and prawns to sell to seafood restaurants which are along the shoreline.

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