Chemicals in Hamilton Harbour appear to be the cause of the changing appearance of sexual organs of some fish.
The latest evidence comes from round gobies sampled not far from Randle Reef and its toxic coal tar deposits.
McMaster University biologist Joanna Wilson says males of the small invasive species are being found with feminine papillae, genital skin flaps that are generally long and thin in males and shorter and fatter in females.
“They’re kind of, not really, like males. They’re becoming feminized,” she said Saturday at a Bay Area Restoration Council workshop on emerging threats to the harbour.
“We don’t know whether they can reproduce normally.”
Some of the male gobies sampled at Grindstone Creek, Cootes Paradise and Sherman Inlet also produce vitellogenin, an egg yolk protein normally only found in females.
“We never expect male fish to produce this,” Wilson said.
“This is really scary,” she said of the goby research and earlier studies that found feminized male white perch in Cootes Paradise — where effluent from the Dundas sewage treatment plant carries residues of prescription drugs.
Wilson said prescription drug use is growing around the world and “what goes in, comes out.”
She said the residues are not there from drugs dumped in toilets or the garbage as much as “it’s us taking drugs,” and little is known about the effects on fish of individual chemicals.
hamilton harbour male fish feminized
Started by tangledline, Apr 28 2009 09:34 PM
4 replies to this topic
Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:34 PM
Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:06 AM
What did they expect from Hamilton Harbour......non toxic healthy fish?
Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:47 AM
A perfect example of why I wont eat fish!
Posted 29 April 2009 - 05:29 PM
Well, we're in for a bad one if there still are normal males out there. More females = more eggs and more reproducing!!! I don't know...supposedly its happening to humans too with all the chemicals we are putting into ourselves intentionally and unintentionally. We eat so many foods now with those super long names (in other words, probably not very good for you)
Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:29 AM
I believe that there is too much estrogen in the water that maybe causing the fish to mutate...