Fish off Florida test positive for pharmaceutical drugs

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The three-year study was conducted by researchers from Florida International University and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT), a Miami-based nonprofit organization focused on bonefish and tarpon conservation, a statement from university press.

Bonefish are a family of fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and tarpons are found in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans.

The researchers took blood and tissue samples from 93 bonefish in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys since 2018 when the study began. They found that each bonefish contained an average of seven pharmaceuticals, including blood pressure medications, antidepressants, prostate medications, antibiotics and painkillers, according to the statement. One fish had a total of 17 different pharmaceuticals in its tissues.

The results reflect a serious problem of contamination of the oceans by human sewage, the university said.

“These findings are truly alarming,” Jennifer Rehage, a coastal and fish ecologist and associate professor at the university, said in the statement. “Pharmaceuticals are an invisible threat, unlike algal blooms or murky waters. Yet these results tell us that they pose a formidable threat to our fisheries and underscore the urgent need to address our treatment infrastructure issues. long-standing sewage.”

Pharmaceutical contaminants can also negatively affect bonefish behavior.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the bonefish as “near threatened”, with its population declining due to a combination of fishing, habitat loss and water contamination.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as of 2013 bonefish are a catch-and-release species only in Florida. The fish are attractive targets for recreational anglers as they are fast and difficult to catch and can grow to impressive sizes of up to three feet long.
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