Fish and shellfish are a part of a nutritious and healthy diet. They are low in fat, and a great source of protein. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat 2-3 meals of fish a week.
You can get the most out of the fish in your diet by choosing your fish carefully. Some fish, like ocean salmon, pacific mackerel, and sardines are low in cholesterol and high in omega-3 fatty acids which protect against heart disease. Other fish, however, contain large amounts of mercury and other chemicals that can harm you or your family’s health. EHIB has been involved in many activities around fish in California. Information about our activities can be found in our “Project” pages.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant, EHIB recommends that you limit how much fish you eat. Children under the age of seventeen should also consume less fish.
More information about mercury in fish can be found under “Mercury in Fish” in our project pages.
Other Chemicals in Fish
Fish can contain other chemicals, too. These include:
Some lakes and bays where people fish in California have been contaminated with mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated byphenols) and other chemicals. The Office of Health Hazard Assessment has issued advisories for more than 10 water bodies in California. The advisories provide information for eating fish safely in these areas.
Local and Regional Fish Advisories
Link to your local health department
EHIB has been involved in fish issues for more than a decade. Currently, we have ongoing fish projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, the San Francisco Bay, and the Palos Verdes Shelf in Los Angeles. Information about these sites, as well as general information about eating fish can be found by clicking on the links below. For information about eating or harvesting shellfish in California, you can call the California Shellfish Information Hotline at (510) 540-2605.
Click on the Grill to learn more about cooking fish safely.
Click on the Fish for information about the benefits of eating fish.
Below are links to information on fishing and consuming fish in California.
- Less specific: Exposure Sources
- More specific: Lago Nacimiento , Lake Nacimiento
- Mercury in Fish brochure
- Mercury in Fish brochure (Other Languages)
- San Francisco Bay Fish Brochures
- San Francisco Bay Fish Postcard
- Biological monitoring for mercury within a community with soil and fish contamination
- Delta Fish Project Needs Assessment Final Report
- Fish contamination in Richmond harbor channel
- Palos Verdes Shelf Outreach And Education Pilot Project Report
- San Francisco Bay Fish Sign
- Delta Watershed Fish Project
- Delta Watershed Fish Project
- Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program Fish Connection
- Klau/Buena Vista Mines, San Luis Obispo County – Public Health Activities
- Mercury in Fish
- Palos Verdes Shelf Fish Contamination Project
- San Francisco Bay Seafood Consumption Study
- Survey and Educational Activity in the Lower Sacramento River Watershed
- Is eating fish good for you?
- How can I cook fish more safely?
- Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Fish Site
- US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seafood site
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Diana Lee , Alyce Ujihara , Ian Walker