Striped bass, bluefish advisory issued
Seven U.S. East Coast states are advising pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children to avoid eating striped bass and large bluefish caught in state waters due to the risk of high PCB levels in the migratory fish.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention made the announcement on Wednesday, adding that New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland issued similar advisories.
The agency also warned the general population to eat no more than four meals of wild striped bass and large bluefish per year.
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) can affect brain development and the endocrine system, and have been found to cause cancer in animal studies.
“Fortunately, there are many other marine and freshwater species that consumers can eat more frequently and that have health benefits,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine CDC. She listed mackerel, cod, haddock, hake, pollock and lobster as species low in PCBs and other contaminants.
Maine’s striped bass and bluefish advisory dates back to 2000, when residents were cautioned to limit consumption to no more than two meals per month.