Fish Consumption Advisories and Commercial Fishing Restrictions
Stay Informed on Safe Fish Consumption
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issues fish consumption advisories to protect public health by informing the public about potential health risks from consuming fish caught in specific areas. These advisories, based on the latest research and testing, detail restrictions and recommendations for fish consumption due to contaminants such as mercury, toxaphene, DDT, and PCBs. It's essential to stay updated as advisories may change; consult the MDEQ website or contact the MDEQ Laboratory directly for the most current information.
Advisory Details by Location and Contaminant
- Mercury Concerns: Several locations, including Archusa Water Park, Bogue Chitto River, Enid Reservoir, and the Gulf of Mexico, have advisories due to mercury. Mercury can pose significant health risks, especially to children and pregnant women.
- Toxaphene and DDT: In the Delta Region and Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge, advisories are issued due to toxaphene and DDT, highlighting the need to avoid consuming certain fish species from these areas.
- PCB Warnings: Lake Susie and Little Conehoma Creek are under advisories for PCBs, advising against the consumption of any fish from these waters.
Mercury-affected Areas: For largemouth and spotted bass and large catfish over 27 inches, consumption should be limited. Specific guidelines are provided for children under seven, women of childbearing age, and other adults to minimize mercury exposure.
Gulf of Mexico King Mackerel: Restrictions on the consumption size and frequency of king mackerel caught off the Mississippi Gulf Coast are in place due to mercury.
Areas with PCBs and DDT: Complete avoidance of fish consumption is recommended for waters contaminated with these chemicals, reflecting the serious health risks they pose.
General Recommendations for Delta Region: Recommendations are provided for consuming buffalo, carp, gar, and catfish over 22 inches, with exceptions noted for specific water bodies.
- DDT Ban: The use of DDT, a harmful insecticide, was banned in the United States in 1972 due to its detrimental environmental and health effects.
- PCBs Ban: The production of PCBs, known for their environmental persistence and health risks, was prohibited in 1978.
Importance of Adherence
Following these advisories is crucial for protecting yourself and your family from the potential health risks associated with consuming contaminated fish. Regularly checking for updates ensures that you have the most current information, allowing for informed decisions about fish consumption and commercial fishing activities.