Fish Consumption by State
Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet. They are a lean, low-calorie, high quality source of protein. They contain essential nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, and are low in saturated fat.
A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and children's proper growth and development.
However, some fish and shellfish may contain chemicals that could pose health risks. When contaminant levels are unsafe, consumption advisories may recommend that people limit or avoid eating certain species of fish and shellfish caught in certain places.
Some fish and shellfish can also accumulate illness-causing microorganisms like bacteria and viruses that could pose health risks to consumers. These risks are often managed by limiting or preventing the harvesting of shellfish from contaminated waters.
All 50 states and some U.S. territories and tribes have consumption advisories to protect people from potential health risks of eating contaminated fish caught in local waters. EPA encourages states, territories and tribes to also issue safe eating guidelines to let people know what fish they can eat safely and to encourage consumption of fish and shellfish as part of a healthy diet.
Advisories: What Not to Eat?
A consumption advisory is a recommendation to limit or avoid eating certain species of fish or shellfish caught from specific water bodies or types of water bodies (e.g., lakes, rivers or coastal waters) due to chemical contamination.
Advisories may be issued for the general public or for specific groups of people at risk, such as:
- High consumers of fish
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Nursing mothers
An advisory about fish from a specific waterbody or type of waterbody may address more than one affected fish species or chemical contaminant.
National Listing of Fish Advisories
EPA maintains a national database of fish and shellfish advisories issued by states.
Guidelines: What is Safe to Eat?
A fish being held in two hands
Because fish and shellfish are such an important part of a healthy diet, EPA encourages states to issue safe eating guidelines to let people know what species are safe to eat. Safe eating guidelines let the public know when there are no limits on eating specific fish species.