Hermaphroditic fish have been withdrawn from sale in a fish market in Seville. It’s believed that sea pollution has caused the mutation in the fish – normally, this sort of thing is spotted before the punters get suspicious, but these slipped through the net. (If you’ll pardon the pun).
The fish are bacoreta, a type of Mediterranean mackerel. It’s not the first time this species has been found to be affected by pollution – the official Instituto Español de Oceanografía described last year other species of this fish which pollution had rendered hermaphroditic.
The fish aren’t supposed to be damaging to health if consumed, (well, no more than any other polluted fish) but the IEO points out that the mutated fish are sterile and stocks can’t replenish if this continues.
Pollution in the Med is blamed. David Macias of the IEO said that “the Med is basically a giant tip… especially away from the fresh waters of the Atlantic”.
An EU grant to the IEO to study the effects of pollution on this species has just been extended for another two years.