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Submission + - The economic decline of the Soviet Union reduced mercury concentration in fish (

Accordion Noir writes: Virginia tech researchers and a team from the US, Canada, and Russia have released a study indicating that the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 may have had positive environmental results in fish. Reduced mercury releases from mining in areas effected by the economic disarray in Russia led fish to have lower levels of methyl mercury than those in rivers on the Norwegian border or in Canada, where mining continued.

Ice-fishing was used to take samples during November and December, prime season for burbot, a "cod-like" fish at the top of the food-chain in its fresh-water habitat. Research began in Russia between 1980 and 2001, when funding was cut. “More studies are needed in the Russian Arctic if we are to better understand how mercury moves through this type of environment,” said study co-author Leandro Castello.

The article, “Low and Declining Mercury in Arctic Russian Rivers,” is published in today’s (Dec. 20) issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

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The economic decline of the Soviet Union reduced mercury concentration in fish

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