State to take new look at how much fish is safe to eat.

ed- It is somewhat upsetting to read that the tribes found out (through a grant paid for by the taxpayers of the state), that levels of toxins were far higher than thought, or safe, and yet we have had no warning and apparently you could assume they were selling this to restaurants and grocery stores. So the question is, “is it safe to eat crab and flounder caught in Puget Sound?”  The answer appears, at least from reading this article, to be ‘no’.  The good news here is that this approach turns pollution control on it’s head. Instead of allowing pollution and reducing consumption, we now are saying that we are going to allow consumption and reduce pollution to achieve healthy goals.

The problem I see is that how do I know that I’m getting safe fish, if the levels have changed but the pollution is still out there in the fish? That seems oddly backwards. Like pretending that the current safe levels aren’t a factor. I think I need better reporting to assure me that I’m just reading this wrong.


7/25 Seattle Times
State takes new look at how much fish is safe to eat
By Cassandra Brooks
Seattle Times staff reporter
From the shores of Lake Washington to the Duwamish River and other state waters, signs alert locals about toxic fish:
Warning: Fish from these waters contain high levels of mercury.

Caution: Trout contain high levels of DDT.

Advisory: Shellfish contain high PCBs, do not eat!

Under state law, Washington’s lakes, streams, estuaries and nearshore coastal waters only need to be clean enough for residents to safely consume one serving of fish a month.
Yet, for many state residents, local fish and shellfish are a much bigger part of their diet than that, whether it’s bass caught from the dock of a lake, a dozen oysters served up at a waterfront restaurant or salmon grilled on a backyard barbecue.
And for many tribes across Washington, fish are not just central to their diet but a core part of their cultural and spiritual lives as well.
More at

One Response

  1. I agree. One serving per month standard? That makes no sense. With many diets moving away from red meat, adding fish/shellfish, I am suprised this was the standard being used.

    Hurrah for the Tribes and everyone else for saying we need change. I eat fish or shellish at least once a week – often locally caught. I support local fisheries. Whether or not I want to purchase fish or shellfish from Puget Sound is now going to be a decision I make when I shop – balancing out the risks of bioaccumulation vs seeing if there is an option from Maine, Oregon or Alaska available. But who is to say what I purchase from those states won’t have the same problem.

    Is this issue in the PSP action agenda items somewhere?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: