Posted by | March 18, 2012 18:20 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Rising sea levels, extreme weather, and now sick fish?  From a recent scientific conference:

Around the world, seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.

The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this western Canadian city.

Climate changes are part of the problem, but not the whole story.

Parasites, funguses, viruses and bacteria are increasingly passed from land to sea animals because human settlements on coastlines changes water patterns through paving, filling of wetlands that are natural filters, and intensive agriculture run-off, said scientists.

Toxoplasma gondii (sometimes called kitty litter disease), round-worm, single-celled parasites that cause brain swelling and disease that cause cows to abort their fetuses add to the challenges marine animals face from human pollution, Trite said.

Diseases from large agriculture operations “can cause abortion storms” in sea animals

And then the problems get passed back up the food chain from fish back to us.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.