Below are the 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) in the Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern. BUIs identify specific problems in the Harbour that result in limited use of the area and are caused by unfavourable changes to the chemical, biological, or physical makeup of the water. These BUIs must be remediated (using the RAP) in order to delist Hamilton Harbour as an Area of Concern.
BUI ii Tainting of Fish and Wildlife Flavour
Status: Not Impaired
What was the original problem? The 1992 report indicated no known impairment existing in Hamilton Harbour fish as there had been no complaints. Tainting of wildlife flavour was also not observed. No formal study of tainting of fish and wildlife had yet been undertaken.
Listing Guideline: When ambient water quality standards, objectives, or guidelines for the anthropogenic substance(s) known to cause tainting, are being exceeded or survey results have identified tainting of fish or wildlife flavour.
Delisting Guideline: When survey results confirm no tainting of fish or wildlife flavour.
How Are Things Today?
Through three lines of evidence (no public complaints, low phenolics loadings, and positive survey of users) this beneficial use can be considered to be not impaired in Hamilton Harbour.
- There are no known records of recent complaints regarding fish or wildlife tainting in Hamilton Harbour or Cootes Paradise
- Flavour tainting is traditionally related to phenols and current loadings to Hamilton Harbour are likely too low to result in tainting of flavour
- The estimated phenolics loadings to Hamilton Harbour decreased substantially between 1974 (2600 kg/day) and 1989 (15 kg/day), with further decreases by 2006 (4 kg/day)
- Health Canada funded a survey of fish consumption by people fishing in Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise from 1995-1997 which did include a tainting question. There were only 2 reports of “fish taste or smell bad” out of 375 people asked
For full information on BUI ii:
Photo Credit: Royal Botanical Gardens