On October 15, the State of Alaska announced the first-ever limits on fish consumption due to mercury.
Larger, older fish - such as yellow eye rockfish, big halibut and lingcod - have shown the most mercury.
While these new "guidelines" apply only to pregnant women and children, they reflect a growing concern (and note: Alaska's 1 ppm mercury threshold in fish is more than 3 times the level suggested by the EPA). Mercury occurs naturally, but coal-fired power plants in Asia and Russia are the suspected sources for mercury in Alaska fish. Yet coal companies are pushing to open two strip mines - one in Cook Inlet (Chuitna) and one near Point Lay (Western Arctic Coal Project) - that will ship coal to Asia.