From: Associated Press
Published January 25, 2006 12:00 AM

State Government Bans Commercial Fishing in Sydney Harbour Due to High Dioxin Levels

SYDNEY, Australia — State officials banned commercial fishing in Sydney's landmark harbor Tuesday after tests revealed unacceptable levels of the cancer-causing compound dioxin in fish.


As well as banning commercial fishing, the New South Wales state government advised recreational fishermen to eat no more than 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of fish caught in the harbor each month.


"Anyone concerned can also follow a simple 'catch and release' policy," state Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said in a statement.


Tuesday's announcement follows the banning of prawn fishing in the harbor last month and was blamed on industrial waste in sediments that make up the harbor's bed, said Macdonald.


Known as the glittering heart of Sydney, the harbor also is a thriving port.


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In recent years, authorities have spent millions of dollars cleaning up the harbor's waters.


"I would like to point out that water quality in Sydney Harbour is the cleanest it has been in decades," Macdonald said. "The issue is with sediments on the harbor floor, which have been exposed to industrial pollution dating back over the past 100 years."


Source: Associated Press


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