Fish Contamination Consciousness: four Well being Security Suggestions

When properly prepared, a fish fillet is delicious and good for you. However, as with almost any other food, there are also some health risks. For example, recalls and alerts for possible bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli contamination in meat and even fruits and vegetables are too common. We don't like to think about fish contamination, but there are some steps we can take to minimize health risks.

First, read your government fishing regulations for public health advice on eating fish. While this is not the full resource on this matter, this is a great place to get your education. For example, mercury contamination in fish is a problem in both salt water and fresh water.

According to the Fish Consumption Recommendation in the Pennsylvania Fisheries Summary, mercury is an "inevitable chemical contaminant," but it is usually low. Exposure to some contaminants like PCBs can be reduced if the fish is cleaned to remove areas of skin and fat. Unfortunately, this doesn't help with mercury in fish.

So what can we do

When you renew your fishing license, read the fishing rules and learn what you can know about fish contamination so you can make an informed decision for you and your family. It looks like mercury contamination can occur in fish in many species. I still eat fish, but like any other food, moderation is important.

  1. Follow the recommended guidelines in each notice. In the event that additional contaminants have not yet been discovered, Pennsylvania generally suggests "eating no more than half a pound of sport fish caught in the state's waterways per week". Your state may have different recommendations.
  2. Do your homework on every waterway. Some waters are safer than others. Warning notices should be found in government regulations or near areas with public access such as ramps.
  3. Let go of the old fish. The mercury levels in fish (and humans) slowly increase over time. Eating younger fish, which of course still comply with harvest regulations, can help reduce exposure.
  4. Are you in a “high risk group”? Children, pregnant women and women who may still have a family are considered to be the most susceptible to long-term exposure and thus an increased risk of harmful levels.

When you renew your fishing license, read the fishing regulations and learn what you can know about fish contamination so you can make an informed decision for you and your family. It looks like mercury contamination in fish can happen to many species. I still eat fish, but like any other food, moderation is important.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After acquiring a B.S. He studied zoology at OSU and has worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the state of Iowa and in the state of Michigan.

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