The Knowledge to Act


Media Availability: What effect does mercury have on fresh water?

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Mercury can cause a wide range of physical and mental symptoms in humans.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury aims to reduce the amount of mercury released into the environment. The global community is currently meeting in Geneva to discuss how to enforce the treaty.

IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) has a wealth of expertise on the effects of mercury on fresh water and fish, and its impacts on ecosystems overall.

To speak with any of the experts below, please contact Sumeep Bath at or +1 (204) 958 7700 ext. 740.

Dr. Michael Paterson has focused his work on issues related to mercury for over 25 years. He has explored how mercury affects food webs and fish, and the relationship between hydro electric reservoir development and elevated concentrations of mercury.




As a biologist with IISD-ELA, Lee Hrenchuk  monitors and assesses the effects of a variety of environmental stresses, including mercury deposition, on fish ecology and behaviour in lakes in the boreal shield. 




About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, Toronto and New York, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: or +1 (204) 958 7700 ext. 706