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Researchers Find High Levels Of Mercury, PCBs In SoCal Sport Fish

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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Sport fish found along the Southern California coastline may contain dangerous levels of toxins, according to a series of new studies.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports the highest levels of mercury and PCBs were found in fish caught in local bays and estuaries.

The joint state and federal studies — which are costing taxpayers as much as $4.5 million —may lead to “no consumption” warnings issued for several local species of sport fish.

Moderate to high levels of pollutants were found in bass, perch, rockfish and shark, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which noted that contaminant levels were highest in San Diego Bay, an industrial and military hub.

“If you’re somebody who eats fish more than a couple times of week that you catch yourself, you may want to change up where you fish so you don’t fish in the same hole every time, so you’re spreading things around a little bit,” said state water board spokesman Dave Clegern.

Officials hope to release a map pinpointing coastal waters with the highest toxicity levels when the six-year study is completed in 2012.

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