Clean at Last

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TOKYO: Ever since the publication of W. Eugene Smith's 1971 Life magazine photograph of a mother holding her cruelly deformed child, Minamata Bay has been a worldwide symbol of gross pollution, the cause of hundreds of death and deformities. Today, Japanese officials pronounced the mercury-poisoned bay clean after tests for three consecutive years found mercury levels in the bay's fish well within safe levels. The huge net that has trapped all Minamata's fish in the bay since 1974 will be dismantled by September so that the fish in Minamata once again can be harvested.