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How safe is your tuna? It's important to know where it wascaught

我们吃的吞拿鱼有多安全?最重要的是知道它的来源!



Tuna caught inindustrialized areas of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans have 36 times morepollutants than those fished in remote parts of the West Pacific, scientistsfrom Scripps Oceanography have found.

斯克里普斯海洋研究所的科学家称,在太平洋与大西洋工业化地区捕捉的吞拿鱼比偏远的太平洋西部高出36倍的污染量。

The researcherstracked concentrations of toxins in tuna around the world and found that thelocation of fish, as much as its species, can affect how safe it is to eat.

这项研究跟踪调查了全世界吞拿鱼体内的毒素浓度,最终发现鱼群的生活位置与他的品种都可以影响其食用的安全性。

“The pollutantlevels in seafood — and tuna in our case — can be heavily determined by thelocation where it was caught,” said lead author Sascha Nicklisch, apostdoctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.“It is important to know the origin of catch of the fish, to know the amount ofpollutants in your fish.”

“海产品的污染程度——在我们的调查中是吞拿鱼——其被捕捉的位置是一个重大的决定因素,”研究主要负责人,加州大学圣地亚哥分校斯普斯海洋研究所的博士后研究员萨卡·尼克西说,“知道鱼的捕捉源头非常重要,因为这样你就可以知道你所食用的鱼里有多少污染量。”

Researchers saidthey hoped the study would help advance understanding of how toxins enter ourfood supply through seafood and how to manage fisheries to reduce that risk.

研究人员说,他们希望通过这一研究能帮助人们了解有毒成分是如何通过海产品进入我们的食物共性,并且如何更好的管理渔业以此减少这种风险。

The study,published in the June issue of the academic journal Environmental HealthPerspectives, tested tuna from locations around the globe for the presence ofpesticides, coolants and flame retardants. Together, they’re part of a class ofchemicals called persistent organic pollutants, which accumulate in body tissueand make their way up the food chain.

这篇研究发布于学术杂志《环境健康展望》六月刊,它检测了全球各地吞拿鱼体内的农药、制冷剂以及阻燃剂的残留情况。以上药剂均称为持久性有机物污染,它们在食物链中形成并在体内器官中积累。

Big fish andpredators tend to have higher levels of toxic chemicals, so tuna offered a goodmeans of tracking them. And yellowfin, which are relatively large fish but haveshorter ranges than other tuna species, allowed researchers to look at regionalpollutants.

大型鱼与捕食者往往有毒化学物残留程度更高,所以吞拿鱼提供了一种跟踪研究的好载体。黄鳍金枪鱼也是一种大型鱼,但它的活动范围小于其它吞拿鱼品种,给研究者提供了测试区域污染度的方法。

“They stay inthe location where they are born and hunt,” Nicklisch said. “So we tried to usethese tuna to create a snapshot of local contamination.”

“它们待在它们出生以及狩猎的地区,”尼克西说,“所以我们尝试用这种吞拿鱼来创建一个局部污染快照。”

Scientistsidentified eight key sites around the globe and analyzed 10 fish from each ofthem. To collect the samples, staff researcher Lindsay Bonito traveled fromTonga to Panama, Louisiana, Hawaii, Guam and Vietnam, chasing tuna.

科学家们在全球设立了八个核心地区并在每一区域选择十类鱼种进行分析。为了搜集样本,研究人员林赛·博尼托从汤加到巴拿马、路易斯安娜、夏威夷、关岛和越南,跟踪调查吞拿鱼。

“I was tasked togo out and actually secure tuna from all over the world,” Bonito said. “I wouldeither go out and fish for it, or contact fishermen.”

“我的任务实际上是去保护世界上的吞拿鱼,”博纳托说,“我要么出去钓鱼,要么与鱼人联系。”

They screenedthe fish for 247 toxic compounds and calculated pollutant concentrations foreach area. Average toxin levels in tuna from the most polluted areas were 36times those found in the least polluted areas. The differences betweenindividual fish were even higher. Toxic levels in the most and least contaminatedtuna samples varied by a factor of 180, according to the report.

他们筛选出247种有毒物质并计算出在不同地区中的鱼类体内的污染浓度。最严重地区中吞拿鱼体内的平均污染浓度是最低浓度的36倍。而其中鱼类个体中的浓度差异更明显,在报告中,最严重的吞拿鱼样本污染程度是最低污染样本的180倍。

In general, Nicklisch said, the morecontaminated sites were industrialized areas of the northern hemisphere,including ocean regions off the Atlantic coast of Europe, and the east and westcoasts of North America. Those off of Asia, and in the Pacific Islands wererelatively clean, he said.

总之,尼克西说,南半球的工业化地区污染更为严重,包括欧洲大西洋沿岸的海洋地区,以及北美的东西部海岸。那些远离亚洲和太平洋岛屿附近相对干净一些。

“The sites wherewe caught them are known to be more pristine, such as kingdom of Tonga,” hesaid.

“我们觉得一些还不错的点一般相对原始,比如说汤加王国。”他说。

Becausefood-born toxins can affect the health of people who eat them, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration issueguidelines on how much fish to eat, with more protective recommendations forchildren and pregnant or nursing women.

因为摄入食源性毒素会影响人们的健康,美国国家环境保护局与食品和药品管理局提出了鱼肉食用计量的建议与指导,并且对儿童与在孕期与哺乳期的女性提出了更有保护性的建议。

Most of the tunaanalyzed in the study would be considered safe under current guidelines, theresearchers said. But there were wide variations between regions, and someareas, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean around Europe, hadhigh levels of unsafe fish.

在研究中,大多数吞拿鱼体内毒素低于现在标准,是安全的食物。但是不同地区之间毒素浓度差距很大,在有些地区,包括墨西哥湾和欧洲周围大西洋海域,有很高比例的不安全鱼类食源。

In all of thetuna samples, researchers found a particularly pernicious set of chemicals.Each fish tested contained 10 specific compounds that interfere with proteinsthat regulate cell membranes and fend off toxins, Nicklisch said. By disablingthat defense, the toxic compounds open the floodgate to a host of otherpollutants.

在所有吞拿鱼样本中,研究者发现了一种特别有毒的物质。每一种鱼都含有十种特殊的化合物,这些化合物会干扰蛋白质对细胞壁的调节以及抵抗毒素,尼克西说。当失去防御时,有毒化合物使本体打开了迎接其余污染物的大门。

“These compoundsmight lead to accumulation of chemicals in these tuna, because the proteinsusually block those compounds in fish, but also in us, in humans,” Nicklischsaid.

“这些化合物可能导致吞拿鱼体内积累大量化学物,因为蛋白质一般会组织这些化合物进入鱼类身体。而且对于人类而言也是这样的。”尼克西说。

He said he hopedthe study would lead to better safety testing of chemicals found in food, andenhance public information and labeling of seafood.

他说他希望这项研究能促进对食物所含化学物更好的安全监测,并加强海产品信息与标签公开。

“The mostimportant part of the take-home message is that it’s important to know whereyour fish was caught,” he said.