State issues fish consumption advisory

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:05

    HARRISBURG - State officials say there are no sport fish in Pennsylvania waters that are safe to consume all of the time. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture and Health recently released an updated list of fish consumption advisories for 2006. The latest advisory finds that “All recreationally caught sport fish in Pennsylvania are subject to a one-meal-per-week consumption advisory. This blanket advisory is designed to protect the general population, especially pregnant women, women of childbearing years and young children. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person.” State advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or bought in stores or restaurants. “The information provided in fish consumption advisories helps people plan what fish to keep and how often and how much of their catch to eat,” PFBC Executive Director Dr. Douglas Austen. “By providing detailed advisories, we enable anglers and others who eat recreationally caught sport fish to make informed decisions.” “Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. “Our goal is to make sure anglers have the best available information as they fish Pennsylvania’s waterways.” Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson noted that at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals. “When properly prepared, fish provide a diet high in protein and low in saturated fats,” Dr. Johnson said. “People can get the health benefits of eating fish and reduce exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking the fish they eat.” Proper preparation generally includes trimming away fat and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking or preparing other foods. Mercury, however, collects in the fish’s muscle and cannot be reduced by cleaning and cooking methods. Current and updated advisories for 2005 are published in the Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws provided to each purchaser of Pennsylvania fishing licenses. More information on fish consumption advisories is available at the PFBC’s Web site at, or at DEP’s site at, Keyword: “Fish Advisories.”