Earthfix: How Much Seafood Is the NW Eating? The Answer Impacts Water Quality

Earthfix ran a story this morning about the process now underway to hopefully reconnect our water quality standards with how much seafood people actually eat around here. From the story:

And that’s important because if the state acknowledges that people are eating more creatures that live in the water, that means the water needs to get cleaner. This past fall Oregon upped its number to 175 grams per day.

Fran Wilshusan, habitat services manager for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Council, says by setting the higher standard in Oregon, that state took a big step toward regulating polluters and cleaning up their waters.

“If we have the opportunity to move it up to the 175 grams or higher,” Wilshusan says, “then we have an opportunity to protect the surface waters from further toxic loading but also to protect the human health for all of us who live in the Puget Sound region.”

It took Oregon several years to get the seafood consumption amount changed.

“This has not been an easy path for them.” Fran Wilshusan says, “It won’t be an easy path here in Washington but we have to start out by recognizing and acknowledging that we’re all eating a lot more than 6.5 grams of fish a day.”