The Washington Times - June 5, 2009, 10:03AM

An Associated Press report from Portland, Maine, said seven East Coast states have advised pregnant women and young children to avoid eating striped bass and large bluefish caught recreationally in state waters because of high PCB levels in the migratory fish.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t want pregnant women, women who plan on becoming pregnant, nursing mothers and children under 8 to eat any fish at all, and everybody else should limit consumption of fish to four meals per year.


The report also said that similar advisories are being issues in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

What? It’s okay to eat the same fish if they’re caught in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida? Are there no fears about harmful chemicals such as the dreadful PCBs in the Southern states? We are, after all, talking about the same fish species — and they do swim up and down the East Coast from season to season, chasing food in the form of herring, alewives, shad, perch and heaven only knows what else.I don’t believe they recognize state lines.

And what about this baloney about not dining on “recreationally caught” stripers and bluefish? Who came up with that choice of words?

Is there a government egghead somewhere who believes that certain fish species whose flesh contain traces of harmful chemicals should not be found on a dinner table if they were caught by sport anglers, but they’d be fine when trapped in nets and sold to fish markets by commercial watermen?

If the warning implies as much, the person responsible for it is a total idiot. If it applies to both the fish species in question no matter who catches them, it should have been stated.

Which brings me around to the early June Ocean Summit in New York City where the states of Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia announced a new Mid-Atlantic ocean partnership designed to address the region’s priority ocean issues including offshore energy, climate change, water quality and habitat protection.

The governors of these states said the announcement, will “advocate in one voice to leverage greater state influence on the management of offshore areas and help guide federal and interstate actions and resources.”

Good luck to all of them. They’ll need it.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley said, “Working together with our sister states — pooling our resources and our expertise — we can and will ensure that our ocean is healthy, resilient and productive for our children and theirs.” The state leaders also vowed to “support the health of the region’s tourism and fishing industries by addressing threats to water quality; and engage the region’s diverse ocean and basin interests as partners in advancing the Mid-Atlantic States’ shared agenda.”

That’s great. If I may suggest something to add to the lofty goals of the states that share the Atlantic’s waters: How about identifying and arresting those who drop filth and deadly chemicals into our waters. You know who they are; you know what causes it; you are the ones that can put a halt to it. Clean up our waters from Maine to Florida, from Long Island to the Delaware and Chesapeake bays and on to the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds of North Carolina, and ever southward.

Don’t sit on your hands and pretend you can’t do anything. Go ahead and hurt some feelings, lose a few campaign donations if necessary; worry about your country more than your ivory towers, 3-martini lunches and getting reappointed and/or reelected while we’re paying the bills. Quit telling us to eat fish only 3 or 4 times per year. Do something about this shameful situation.