Crabs Pinched by PCB

20 Jul 2011

The port of Rouen wants to open a new disposal site for the sludge from dredging in the Seine’s bay. The public inquiry was closed yesterday. This 2 million meters³ “experience” covers itself in scientific fuss like the follow-up of the bioaccumulation of toxic elements contained in the sludge, thanks to the placing of 7 cages of mussels laid 2 to 10 km from the disposal site. This animal experimentation led by Ifremer is totally useless in regards to the ecological disaster that strikes a blow from heavy metals and PCB, endocrinal disruptors, at the ensemble of the Seine’s bay from the east to the west and from the top to the bottom.

According to the ANSES warning dating from October 23, 2009 and taken into account by a prefectural mandate from February 2, 2010, saying the sardines of the Seine’s bay are nonconforming to the standard limits of dioxins and PCB and are banned from consumption and marketing.

On May 13, 2011, a new warning from ANSES on the dioxins and PCB in the crustaceans of the Seine’s bay comes to the conclusion that the crabs are nonconforming in the entirety of the bay, as well as the velvet swimming crab in the zone 3 estuary of the Seine. ANSES also underlines, on the subject of the velvet swimming crab, that complementary data are necessary for the other zones of the bay and recommends that the spider crabs be sampled as well. The prefects of upper and lower Normandy delay giving prefectural mandates banning marketing and consumption.

Pursuant to the crustacean example, the crab lives in the depths. It is at the same time a detritivore and active predator of other benthic organisms such as molluscs and plankton-type larva. The ensemble of the crab food chain is directly submitted to the influence of the sludge and its sedimentation/extraction/remobilization/dispersion cycle. This perpetual cycle in the estuary of the Seine, a zone of accumulation of chemical pollutants, bacteriological and radioactive, in the Parisian basin, contribute to the progressive poisoning of the entire bay of the Seine in the larger sense from zone 1 (east of Cherbourg) to zone 4 (Tréport). Rouen says that this experimental sludge is inferior to the standardized levels in effect. It is necessary to remind you here that these norms are fixed by the great maritime ports brought together in the form of a para-regulatory group named GEODE, which is seriously obsolete and resistant to health recommendations. As an example, GEODE does not take into account the dioxins or the PCB dioxins like, and contents itself with on average 7 PCB indicators per kilo of sludge. As a reminder, Robin des Bois estimates that around 10 tons of pure PCB was dispersed in the Seine’s bay during the decade 2000-2010 by the accumulation of sludge from the remobilized dragging of dumping from the ports of Rouen and Havre. It only requires a billionth of a gram to risk transforming crabs, eels, sardines, and mackerels into dangerous foodstuffs. This information and the ensemble of prefectural mandates relative to the banning of consumption of fish are available in the latest PCB inventory that Robin des Bois published in July 2011 (1). For its part, “the experience” of the so-called Machu dumping site could be equal to a release of around 33 kilos of pure PCB according to the analysis made available to the public.

As a consequence, given the fact that this accumulation phenomenon of PCB in marine organisms came about “naturally” with aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other historical or emerging pollutants, Robin des Bois is opposed to the opening of this new disposal site and reserves the right to lodge a complaint, if authorization is given, against all of the actors who could have contributed to this decision to proliferate pollution. This position of Robin des Bois is valid for this project called Machu and for the supplementary dumping of debris from dredging issuing from the eventual deepening of the channel of Rouen. The adaptation of ships entering in the ports of Havre and of Rouen to the existing ecological capacities of the river and its estuary and the recycling ashore of debris from dredging must be retained as viable solutions.

(1) Only available in French

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