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About Fish Consumption and the Indiana Fish Consumption Advisory
Fish can be a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. The research shows that fish consumption is associated with a decrease risk in cardiovascular disease and it is an important nutrient for fetal and childhood development. However, fish can accumulate toxins such as Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in their tissues from the water they live in and through their diets. This can cause harmful effects to humans eating the fish.
The Indiana State Department of Health, working together with Indiana Departments of Environmental Management and Natural Resources, produce fish consumption recommendations for Indiana public waters to avoid high levels of toxins from consuming fish. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management includes the Fish Tissue Contaminants Monitoring Program, to assess the levels of bioaccumulation from pollutants in fish from Indiana waterways. The information collected provides the basis for determining the advisories for each location.
The agencies, together, establish recommendations for local sources of fish with the Indiana Fish Consumption Advisory, provided by clicking on the first tackle box below. The recommendations for commercial fish (fish bought from grocery stores or supermarkets) are used by the State Department of Health through the fish wallet card developed by Purdue University. The fish wallet card provides fish selections that are low in mercury and high in omega 3 fatty acids. Although the fish wallet card is geared towards females under 50 and all children under 6, it can be used as a reference to other groups for commercial fish that are high in mercury and omega 3's. To obtain this wallet card, contact the Division of Environmental Public Health.
Use the tools below, to determine which fish catch to eat: