DHEC releases fish consumption guide to teach fishing safety

Photo Credit: DHEC
Photo Credit: DHEC

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control wants residents to learn about the safety of eating fish caught in the state's lakes and rivers by checking the updated fish consumption guide here.

The 2013 Fish Smart, Eat Smart guide will help determine if fish caught is safe to eat, or whether it should be released.  The report includes an interactive statewide map with the latest advisories, information and other materials that can be downloaded.

According to the guide, one meal of fish is equal to a half pound, or eight ounces of uncooked fish. Eight ounces of uncooked fish is equal to about the size of two decks of playing cards.

Mercury has the greatest effect on the growing body because the brain and nervous system is still developing. Because of this, some groups may be at greater health risk than others. Those groups include babies, children under 14, women who are nursing or pregnant or women who plan to become pregnant.

These groups should be particularly careful about the types and amounts of fish they eat from local waters. The guide recommends to follow this advice for anyone in any of these groups:

-          Eat only one meal of freshwater fish each week from a water body without an advisory.

-          DO NOT eat any freshwater fish where there is an advisory (Advisories include: do not  eat any, one meal a week, and/or one meal a month).  Click here to see a table of all the fish advisories.

-          Do not eat any king mackerel, shark, swordfish, tilefish, or cobia.

The guide also has a helpful "frequently asked questions" section that answers most questions a beginner, intermediate or even expert fisherman has.

Find the 2013 Fish Smart, Eat Smart guide at www.scdhec.gov/fish.

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