Kodiak Daily Mirror - Report Most Alaska fish are safe for consumption have low mercury content
Report: Most Alaska fish are safe for consumption, have low mercury content
by Kodiak Mirror Staff
Jul 23, 2014 | 84 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The government is reminding pregnant women to stay away from certain fish that can be high in mercury. The Associated Press
The government is reminding pregnant women to stay away from certain fish that can be high in mercury. The Associated Press
The Alaska Department of Epidemiology has released updated fish consumption guidelines for Alaskans.

Although all fish contain some level of mercury, “Most species of Alaska fish, including all five wild Alaska salmon species, contained mercury levels that were too low to constitute a health risk,” the report stated.

The primary concern about contaminants in Alaska fish is mercury, since other contaminants appear in amounts too small to be a concern.

Adult men, adult women who will not become pregnant and adult women who are over childbearing age can continue unrestricted consumption of all Alaska fish except salmon shark, which should be eaten sparingly, the report said.

Pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under 18 can eat any Alaska fish that are low in mercury: all five species of salmon, arctic cisco, big skate, black rockfish, broad whitefish, Dolly Varden, dusky rockfish, grayling, halibut under 40 pounds, humpback whitefish, least cisco, lingcod under 35 inches, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, rainbow trout, rougheye rockfish, sablefish, sheefish and walleye pollock.

However, they should limit their consumption of halibut from 40 to 80 pounds and lake trout and lingcod between 35 and 40 inches to 16 or fewer meals per month.

Consumption of even larger halibut and lingcod, longnose skate, salmon shark, yelloweye rockfish and spiny dogfish should be limited even further.

The report said store-bought halibut is safe for unlimited consumption.

The state has an ongoing program to monitor mercury levels in human hair across the state. The report said that of the 1,145 women of childbearing age who participated in the program, only four had mercury levels that exceeded five parts-per-million of mercury, the level at which mercury becomes a health concern.

Contact the newsroom at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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