Fish Consumption Advisories Available for 2005

December 13, 2004

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has updated the West Virginia sport fish consumption advisory for 2005. DHHR partners with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to develop consumption advisories for fish caught in West Virginia.

Fish consumption advisories are updated annually and help West Virginia anglers and their families make educated choices about eating the fish they catch.

The 2005 advisory recommendation is the result of a recently completed study of sport fish samples from 56 collection sites across West Virginia and historical data. The advisories for 2005:

• Advises that all persons limit consumption of sport fish caught from all water bodies in West Virginia, except rainbow trout, to one meal per week or less, as specified in the advisory. This is the first time that statewide advisories will be issued.

• Advises that for 17 specific water bodies in the State, persons should limit consumption to one meal per month, 2 meals per month or 6 meals per year as specified in the advisory. Six of these sites have DO NOT EAT advice for certain fish. Previous advisories covered five specific water bodies.

• Are based on the maximum daily ingestion goal for people of a particular body weight. A meal size chart is provided to help adjust serving sizes.

The general statewide advisory, the 17 specific bodies of water with stricter guidance, and the meal size guide can be reviewed at www.wvdhhr.org/fish, obtained from DHHR or are listed in the 2005 DNR fishing regulations.

While most West Virginia sport fish are of high quality, low levels of chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and dioxin have been found in some fish from certain waters. To ensure the continued good health of West Virginians, DHHR offers an advisory for how often these fish can be safely eaten. An advisory is advice and should not be viewed as law or regulation. It is intended to help anglers and their families make educated choices about: where to fish, what types of fish to eat, how to limit the amount and frequency of fish eaten, and how to prepare and cook fish to reduce contaminants.

Women of childbearing age, children and people who regularly eat fish are particularly susceptible to contaminants that build up over time. Individuals falling fall into one of these categories should be especially careful to follow the guidelines.

This advisory covers only sport fish caught in West Virginia waters. Safety regulations and advisories for fish in the marketplace are the responsibility of the United Sates Federal Food and Drug Administration. For more information you can contact the FDA at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/mehgadvisory1208.html

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