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New Guidelines For Fish Consumption
Updated January 26, 2017 1:52 PM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(UNDATED) - Two U.S. agencies have released new advice on how much and which types of fish are safe to eat - especially for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency say more than 90 percent of fish are safe to eat.

The agencies have categorized more than 60 types of fish and shellfish as best, good or choices to avoid.

Elizabeth Southerland, director of science and technology at the EPA's Office of Water, says fish that are safe to eat contain essential nutrients and fatty acids that are beneficial for pregnant women.

"They're a high quality source of protein, which is especially important for fetal development and for young children," she points out. "Again, the only concern we have about eating a lot of fish is if you're eating a lot of fish that's high in mercury."

The agencies recommend two to three servings a week from the "best choices" category and only one serving from the list of "good choices."

The recommended serving size is 4 ounces - or about the size your palm - for adults, and 2 ounces for children ages 4 to 7 years old.

The new guidelines are a shift from earlier messaging, when federal agencies advised the public about the dangers of eating too much fish.

Now, Southerland says federal agencies want to highlight a more positive message - even suggesting pregnant women or women who may become pregnant eat a minimum of 8 ounces of fish a week.

"FDA did an analysis of fish consumption back in 2005, and pregnant women ate fewer than 2 ounces a week," she relates. "And that's a shame because again, it is a high nutrition source, with nutrients and high quality protein."

Southerland says as a general rule, fish that live longer tend to accumulate more mercury in their tissue and should be avoided.

Some of those on the list to avoid include shark, swordfish and bigeye tuna.

Many states also publish guidelines about where it's safe, or not, to catch and consume fish from local waters.

Here is the list for Lawrence County:
Consumption of any fish from the portion of the East Fork of the White River listed below should be limited to no more than one meal per month by the general population and NO CONSUMPTION of any fish by the sensitive population.

The sensitive population: This includes females under the age of 50 excluding women who are no longer capable of becoming pregnant, males under age 18, and people with compromised immune systems.
The general population: This includes adult men over the age of 17 and women over the age of 50 or are no longer capable of becoming pregnant.

*One meal is 8 oz. for an adult and for children (ages 2-6) a meal is 3 oz.
If your fish species is not listed for a water body, the limit for sensitive group is 1 meal per month and for the general public 1 meal per week.

East Fork of White River
* Daviess/Dubois/Lawrence/Martin County Bluegill up to 8 inches 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
* Buffalo species 24+ Do not eat
*Common Carp up to 15 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
15-20 Do not eat
20-25 Do not eat
25+ Do not eat
* Sauger up to 13 inches 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
* Shorthead Redhorse 14-16 Do not eat
16+ Do not eat
* Silver Carp up to 26 inches 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
* Spotted Bass up to 15 inches 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
* Walleye up to 14 inches 1 meal/month (8 ounces/month)
Little Salt Creek
* Lawrence County Longear Sunfish up to 4 1 meal/week (8 ounces/week)
Pleasant Run Creek
* Lawrence County All Fish ALL Do not eat
Salt Creek
* Lawrence County All Fish up to Do not eat

To learn more visit:

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