Is it safe to eat saltwater fish?

Consumption Guidelines for Ocean Fish and Shellfish

Fish can be an important part of a healthy diet, but some ocean fish and shellfish contain varying levels of pollutants like mercury, PCBs and dioxins and may pose a potential health risk. Because of this, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services recommends the following guidelines for eating Saltwater Fish, Shellfish and Commercially Available Fish:

BEST CHOICES:
Catfish, Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Herring, Light Tuna (canned), Pollock, Sole, Salmon, Tilapia, Shellfish (Oysters, Shrimp, Crab, Clams, Scallops, Lobster)
• Pregnant and nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and young children can safely eat TWO meals* per week.
• For all others, no limit as part of a balanced diet.

GOOD CHOICES:
Halibut, Red Snapper, Tuna Steak, White Tuna (canned)
• Pregnant and nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and young children can safely eat ONE meal per week.
• For all others, no limit as part of a balanced diet.

CAUTIONS:
Bluefish, Striped Bass
• Pregnant and nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and young children should avoid consumption.
• For all others, eat no more than ONE meal per month.

King Mackerel, Swordfish, Shark, Tilefish
• Pregnant and nursing women, women who may become pregnant, and young children should avoid consumption.
• For all others, TWO meals per month.

Lobster Tomalley (green substance in lobster)
• Everyone avoid consumption.

Other parts of the lobster are fine -- no limits as part of a balanced diet.

All dietary sources of fish should be considered together. For example, a pregnant woman may have one meal of freshwater fish, but is advised not to consume any additional mercury-containing fish that month.

*Remember: "meal sizes" are 4 oz. for children under age 7, and 8 oz. for older children and adults.

For freshwater fish consumption guidelines for New Hampshire, click here.

To find more information regarding the health effects of mercury or details on specific advisories, contact:

N.H. Department of Environmental Services
Environmental Health Program
(603) 271-1370
http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/air/pehb/ehs/ehp/index.htm

 


About Us
 
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

603-271-3421
top bottom background image