Eat fish from Flemish rivers: ‘Irresponsible’

The Flemish rivers contain too many pesticides, mercury, and flame-retardant substances, but that does not there is still 30 tons of eels out to eat. “Irresponsible”, says biologist Claude Belpaire of the Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Friday in The Standard.

In a number of Flemish rivers is the pollution problem. © Getty Images/iStockphoto

Together with colleagues from the University of Antwerp did Belpaire, commissioned by the Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij, measurements in eleven rivers and canals. He went there looking for the presence of twelve harmful toxins in the muscle tissue of perch and eels. The measurements show that in all measuring points in Flanders, some harmful substances in a high concentration in perch and eel occur.

Everywhere is the kwikvervuiling high, but especially in the Demer, the Dyle, and Dender, which is problematic. For fluorinated substances, the Ghent-Terneuzen canal the worst. The Bovenschelde, finally, has a high pollution from flame retardant substances that are incorporated in all kinds of building materials, and electronics.

For the biologist, it is clear: it is irresponsible to have eel, perch or other river fish to eat.

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