monitor tumors on fish in Presque Isle Bay
ERIE, Pa. (AP) -- The Presque Isle Bay Public Advisory
Committee hopes to have the bay removed from a list of
polluted waters by tracking tumors on one type of catfish.
The International Joint Commission, a Canadian-American
authority in charge of waters between the nations,
designated the bay an " area of concern" in 1991
because of high tumor rates on brown bullheads and contamination
in sediment in the bay.
The designation is given to areas of the Great Lakes
that are environmentally degraded and fail to meet standards
established by the U.S. and Canada' s Great Lakes
Water Quality Agreement.
The bullhead is considered an indicator of the bay'
s health. Studies a decade ago found skin tumors in more
than 60 percent of bullheads and liver tumors in more
than 20 percent.
Those levels have since declined and the advisory committee
on Monday set its target levels at 20 percent for skin
tumors and 5 percent for liver tumors. If the tumor rates
drop below those levels, the committee will try to
get the " area of concern" designation lifted.
There are 43 areas with the designation in the United
States and Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency said. If an area is tagged with the designation,
state and provincial governments must establish a plan
to fix the problems.