Saturday, 20 April 2019 | 19:50 WIB

Mercury, Cyanide Pollute Ambon Sea, People Advised Not to Consume Fish Heads

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AMBON, NNC - Chemistry and environment expert at Universitas Pattimura (Unpatti) Ambon, Justinus Male reminds Maluku people, especially on Buru Island and Ambonagar Island, not to consume fish heads or bones because they already contain mercury and cyanide toxic substances. 

"Toxic substances such as mercury and cyanide usually settle in the bone marrow and fish heads, so the habit of consuming these parts of the fish will be dangerous for the long term," Justinus said, in Ambon on Saturday (10/27/2018).

This warning was delivered by environmental and chemical experts because results of a study of a number of fish samples, both taken from markets in Namlea, Buru Regency and in Latuhalat sea waters show contamination with mercury and cyanide.

This research has been conducted since 2015 when gold mines were illegally operating in Botak, Gogorea, and Anahoni mountains using tons of mercury and cyanide.

This study was done by Justinus by collecting his own funds through selling bread in bazaars because there was no financial support from the Maluku provincial government and Buru regency.

According to him, these toxic and dangerous wastes are discharged into the Anahoni and Waeapu rivers, then flowing to the Kayeli Bay area which is surrounded by mangrove forests.

After settling in the area of mangrove forests, the sludge containing B3 is eaten by small microbes, plankton and zooplankton, then the food chain process happens that ends up being eaten by crabs, small fish and large fish until finally consumed by humans.

"Fish from the sea waters around Kayeli Bay do not always stay there, but migrate and spread everywhere so that conditions like these are endangering human health," he said.

So that people are reminded that if they buy fresh fish in the market, they have to throw their heads and bones and stomach contents because that is where the deadly toxic substances are.