By Jim Beasley
As temperatures rise across South Carolina, many of us are drawn to water. South Carolina has many beautiful lakes, streams and coastal areas for recreational activities — including fishing. It’s helpful to know that some fish can carry toxins in their tissue. You need to limit how much of them you eat.
Each year, DHEC issues its Fish Consumption Advisory in both print and online versions. The 2015 edition is available now.
Fish are an important part of a healthy diet. Along with protein and other nutrients, fish are also low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight heart disease.
David Wilson of DHEC’s Bureau of Water says largemouth bass in Dargan’s Pond, Lake George Warren and Lake Ashwood have been added to this year’s list. The fish contain mercury in their tissue, meaning that you shouldn’t eat more than one meal per week of largemouth bass caught in those waters.
Along with mercury, some fish can contain PCBs or radioisotopes, also requiring advisories. Pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, infants and children should avoid eating any fish covered by an advisory.
To make it easy to identify problem areas and the fish in those areas that might be tainted, DHEC publishes an interactive map with explanations of specific fish and quantities that are safe to eat.
For more information, click here.
Fish is a very important part of a healthy diet. But, fear of contaminants makes many people shy away from fish. High levels of mercury and PCBs in fish can pose harmful health effects on people who eat fish very often, especially on pregnant women and children. Fish consumption advisory is a great way to alert public on which fish is safe and which to avoid. I particularly like the live interactive mapping application which gives info on the safety of fishes in local ponds.