Toxic harbour

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006

-- The presence of toxic waste in Sydney Harbour in Australia has forced authorities to invest around us $150 million in a clean-up programme. They also put an end to centuries of commercial fishing and have warned recreational anglers not to eat the harbour fish.

These steps were taken after tests showed the level of cancer-causing dioxin in fish was almost 100 times the World Health Organization's recommended levels.

The state's primary industry minister, Ian MacDonald, said the dioxin, a key ingredient of the Agent Orange defoliant used in the Vietnam War, was the result of the industrial pollution.

The government will spending us $4.3 million buying back fishing licences and compensating some 40 fishermen who sell their catches to restaurants which dot the shoreline.

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