Bonefish on Drugs?

Bonefish on Drugs?

Is this click bait? Am I just kidding around, pulling your leg? Unfortunately no. Some bonefish are on drugs.


Recently The Tarpon & Bonefish Trust did a 3 year research project with Florida International University. The goal of this effort was see if pharmaceuticals could be found in bonefish from Biscayne Bay.

Well, the results are disturbing,  to say the least. All 93 bonefish tested had a long list of drugs in their system ranging from high blood pressure meds to antidepressants. Below is a link to the study. Please read it.

Read the Report Here

How did the drugs get there? Through wastewater discharges from sewage plants. Almost everybody takes medications. No news there. What you may not realize, however, is that those medications are released in our urine. But sewage plants can’t filter out them out. So they exit the plant in the wastewater stream. Wham, bonefish on drugs.

Yet in a way the report is not completely surprising. Wastewater discharges have been polluting the Biscayne Bay for years. But the fact that bonefish are absorbing these drugs into their blood and tissue is scary news, truly frightening. How will this affect the fish? Will it  permanently damage the fishery? Will it harm the fish’s ability to reproduce? These and a long list of questions need answers. And remember they only tested bonefish! All the other fish in the Bay are likely affected too. Including fish people put on the table. And what about recreational drugs? Are the fish exposed to fentanyl, heroin, crack, and special-K as well?  Christ I feel a rant coming on.

This entry was posted in Bonefishing, Environment, Fly Fishing in Salt Water. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bonefish on Drugs?

  1. Ted Rzepski says:

    Disturbing news. For many reasons we probably should stop eating fish. Now that we’re taking a variety of vaccinations we seriously need to restrict other accidental drugs.
    You mentioned Fentanyl. Drug addicts are probably a source for this lethal poison. Microscopic amounts of this drug are deadly.

    • Ed Mitchell says:

      Terrible, terrible, news. And lets be clear, Biscayne Bay isn’t the only place where this issue exists. It’s just where the only research has been done, to the best of my knowledge. You can bet your bottom dollar that the fish in places like Long Island Sound are enduring the same insults. The scope of this is breathtaking and the level of danger unknown.

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