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CDPH Warns Bay Area Residents about Unsafe Fish Consumption 

Date: 7/31/2012 

Number: 12-033 

Contact: Matt Conens, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

San Francisco Bay Area residents need to choose wisely when it comes to eating fish caught in the Bay, warns Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state public health officer.  

Fish advisory signCDPH, in collaboration with state and local health agencies and community groups, has been posting warning signs this summer at popular fishing locations throughout the San Francisco Bay. The signs are a reminder that some fish may contain harmful chemicals including mercury, which can negatively affect how the brain develops in unborn babies and children, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a probable carcinogen.

“Eating fish is an important part of a nutritious, healthy diet,” said Dr. Chapman. “We want to remind people that when it comes to eating fish caught in the San Francisco Bay, all fish are not the same.” 

The new signs depict the recent advisory by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that outlines which species are safe to eat. 

The new advisory applies only to fish caught in the San Francisco Bay. Under the new guidelines, children between the ages of one and 17 years, and women between the ages of 18 and 45 should:

  • Not eat any types of shark, surfperch, striped bass, or white sturgeon from the San Francisco Bay 
  • Eat no more than one serving per week of white croaker (kingfish) or California halibut, or 
  • Eat up to two servings per week of Chinook (king) salmon, red rock crab, jacksmelt or brown rockfish from the Bay.

Men over 17 years of age and women over 45 years are less susceptible to harm from mercury and PCBs, and can safely eat greater amounts of fish from the San Francisco Bay. They should:

  • Not eat any types of surfperch 
  • Eat no more than one serving per week of any type of shark, white croaker (kingfish), or sturgeon, or 
  • Eat up to two servings per week of striped bass, jacksmelt, or California halibut, or 
  • Eat up to five servings per week of brown rockfish, or red rock crab, or 
  • Eat up to seven servings per week of Chinook (king) salmon.

The San Francisco Bay Fish Project was created in partnership with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, Western States Petroleum Association, Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, and the Aquatic Science Center.


 

          

 

 

 

 
 
Last modified on: 7/31/2012 5:19 PM