08 June 2009

CTDEP Issues Consumption Advisory Updated for Striped Bass & Bluefish

June 8, 2009: The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in coordination with similar actions in six other East Coast states, updated its fish consumption advisory for striped bass and bluefish, species commonly caught in Long Island Sound.

DPH now advises that bluefish over 25 inches and striped bass can safely be consumed once per month by age 6 or over who is not in the high risk group (see below). Previously, the advise for these species was to limit consumption of striped bass and large bluefish to once per two months.

∙ High Risk Group[pregnant women, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and children under the age of 6]: DO NOT EAT large bluefish (over 25 inches) or striped bass.

∙ All Others: One meal per month of large bluefish (over 25 inches) or striped bass.

∙ Small Bluefish (13-25 inches): One meal per month (all groups).

According to state health officials, large bluefish (over 25 inches) and striped bass contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels of potential concern to the general public. This concern is especially true for pregnant women and young children. PCBs can affect the endocrine system and brain development, and are carcinogenic in animal studies. Health officials advised that striped bass and large bluefish caught in Long Island Sound should not be eaten by those in the high risk group. The remainder of the general population should eat no more than one meal per month.

For a copy of “A Guide to Eating Fish Safely” go to www.ct.gov/dep/fishing and click on “Fish Consumption Advisory”. For further information from the Department of Health visit their website at www.ct.gov/dph or call 860.509.7270. Questions for the Marine Fisheries Division can be directed to: CTDEP Marine Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

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