Is This Fish Happy or Toxic?

January 25, 2011
Dinah from Shrink Rap

Fish in the St. Lawrence River are being exposed to anti-depressants through human waste.

The following was originally posted to Shrink Rap.

Thank you to Anon who sent us a clip to this interesting article in the Montreal Gazette about all the fish in the St. Lawrence River who are being exposed to anti-depressants through human waste.

William Marsden writes in "Antidepressants Found in Fish":

"It's very hard," Sauve said. "The question itself is quite interesting. You can't ask a fish whether it is happier or not. One of things they can do is use cameras to look at the male behaviour. Will it have the same behaviour in mating or feeding? Then you have to go back and look at its normal behaviour. It's quite tedious work and difficult."

Quebecers purchase about 555 million antidepressants a year. That works out to about one in four Quebecers taking one pill a day. That does not include the amount prescribed by psychiatric hospitals.

Hmm... I'm not sure what to say. Should we be more alarmed about what the meds are doing to the fish (and just how happy should a fish be?) or the idea that Quebecers average a one in four rate of taking anti-depressants?