Australia bans fishing in Sydney Harbor

January 23, 2006

Commercial fishing has been banned in Sydney Harbor because of high dioxin levels and recreational anglers have been warned not to eat their catch.

The tests on bream and other fish in the harbor detected the dangerous levels of dioxins, which can cause cancer and birth defects, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported. The toxins were believed to have come from a Union Carbide site at nearby Homebush Bay, where Agent Orange was once produced.

The ban is the first of its kind in Sydney's history, the Daily Telegraph said.

Officials said swimming will still be allowed since the poisons are not carried in dangerous quantities in water, but they become concentrated in fish, making consumption potentially deadly.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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