Eastern States Warn on Fish Consumption

"State officials warned Wednesday that people should restrict consumption of Atlantic striped bass -- the state fish and one of the most popular with recreational anglers on Ocean City's beaches and charter boats, as well as with area restaurant diners.

The Maryland Department of the Environment issued the advisory for striped bass, also known as rockfish, and bluefish caught in coastal waters because they contain high levels of a banned toxic substance. People should not eat the fish more than once a month, the state said. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers and children 6 and younger should avoid the fish altogether.

If consumers significantly cut back on the fish, the warning -- a first for coastal waters -- could have an economic impact on those who make a living taking weekend fishermen out on the ocean. It could also affect commercial fishermen, though the advisory does not officially extend to commercially caught fish; that is beyond the state's jurisdiction."

Meredith Cohn reports for the Baltimore Sun June 4, 2009.

See Also:

"Bluefish, Striped Bass Advisories Issued in East" (AP)

Editorial: "The Rockfish Risk" (Baltimore Sun)

Friday, June 5, 2009