3-Eyed Fish Found in the Great Lakes

by: paul baines
contact: paul@greatlakescommonsmap.org
23:26 Mar 22 2014 Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada

Why should we work towards a Great Lakes Commons and how ?
from the link below:

Many theories have surfaced in the months since a three-eyed walleye fish affectionately dubbed "Third Eye Louie" was pulled out of Lake Nipissing. Some claimed the freak fish spawned from a nuclear spill or was the product of an old uranium mine. Others pointed to the cyanobacterial blooms in the lake and the sewage pollution from wastewater plants dotting its shores as the cause of the periscopic third eye.

While rare, it’s unlikely Louie is a Blinky—the character of a surreal Simpsons-like scenario. Since he’s the only one fished out of the lake to date, it stands to reason Louie’s third eye is simply a genetic mutation. Scientists agree. But something Third Eye Louie has helped do is drive attention to the larger issues at play in both Lake Nipissing and the Great Lakes Basin of which it is a part.

...later the article states...

As pointed out in the Ecojustice report, municipal sewage treatment plants are inundated with wastewater from industrial operations, household cleaning supplies, and, perhaps scariest of all, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). Because there is no treatment for a significant number of these compounds, the ramifications of having PPCPs released into receiving waters unchecked is uncertain, though believed to be damaging to both humans and the environment.

Dr. Reehan Mirza, chair of Nipissing University’s biology department, points out that because the Ministry of the Environment does not have methods to monitor the compounds in question, little is known about what impact PPCPs have on the ecosystems they infiltrate. What is known for certain, says he, is that the affected lakes will more than likely have an inordinate amount of female fish.

“A lot of these compounds tend to be estrogen mimics. The major effect that you’re seeing in aquatic life is this whole issue of feminization, where the male organs are not developing and you see more either female-like organisms or organisms where testes and ovaries are not differentiated. When that happens, those fish are not viable and they’re not going to be able to reproduce.”

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