A Guide to Fishing Smart in the Bay Area

March 25, 2022 – From San Mateo County Environmental Health Services Blog

While fishing is a great activity for many of us, are you aware that not all fish you catch are the best for you and your family to consume? Here’s a guide to help you decide which fish you’ve caught to serve for your next meal!

Consuming fish with higher levels of these toxins can cause cancer (Mercury) and damage growing brains (PCBs). These toxins can also accumulate in the body of mothers and can be passed on to their children if eaten during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Not all fish are created equal – some fish have these high toxin levels and some fish are healthy to eat.

Fish containing omega-3s can reduce your risk for heart disease and improve brain development in unborn babies and children. Fish are an excellent source of protein while being low in saturated fats. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) creates regional and state guides on safe-to-eat fish based on two toxins found in ocean and bay fish: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury. 


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