Sport fish found along the San Diego coastline show concerning levels of toxins, according to a series of new studies.
The studies by state and federal authorities concentrate on sport fish in order to uncover information about human exposure to chemicals and the condition of the aquatic food web, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The $4.5 million studies were paid for by the State Water Resources Control Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a six-year effort.
Moderate to high levels of pollutants were found in several local species of sport fish, including various bass, perch, rockfish and shark, the Union-Tribune reported, noting that contaminant levels were highest in San Diego Bay, an industrial and military hub.
“Before these surveys, we really had no benchmark — mostly just anecdotal information — for where to focus our efforts,” State water board spokesman Dave Clegern told the newspaper. “Now we can look toward seeing what the best way to deal with these chemicals may be.”