Fish a striped bass out of North Carolina’s Cape Fear River, and it’s likely you’ve just hoisted up a swimming vessel for PFAS, a family of long-lasting chemicals found in many consumer products and fire-fighting foams.
Of the fish tested for the chemical in a study recently published in the journal Environment International, all had elevated levels of PFAS. Compared to previous studies in 2015 and 2001, the North Carolina stripers have the highest rates of PFAS documented in North American fish.
A number of environmental issues have made restoring the Cape Fear River’s striped bass population a challenge. Though the river is regularly refilled with fish hatched offsite, scientists are beginning to suspect that PFAS is impeding sustainable reproduction, impacting