Deformed Oil Sands Fish? Mercury In Fish Not Increasing, Environment Canada Study Says

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OIL SANDS MERCURY FISH
A deformed white fish, caught in Lake Athabasca near Fort Chipewyan, is on display during a press conference in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday, September 16, 2010. A newly published study is casting doubt on findings that mercury levels are increasing in fish near Alberta's oilsands. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson) | CP

A newly published study is casting doubt on findings that mercury levels are increasing in fish near Alberta's oilsands.

The study by two Environment Canada scientists analyzed decades worth of data from different sources to conclude levels of the potent toxin are stable and may even be declining in lakes near the massive developments.

Earlier: Deformed Oilsands Fish Appearing In Lake Athabasca, Says First Nation

But it cautions it's hard to draw firm conclusions about what is happening, given the spotty and inconsistent monitoring that has been done in the region.

It says better monitoring is needed to really know what is going on in the oilsands region.

Both the federal and Alberta governments are developing better ways to measure the environmental impact of the oilsands.

A 2009 research paper had suggested that mercury levels had increased by more than one-quarter between 1975 and 2005.

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