The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is pleased to announce the release of the new regional Eat Safe Fish Guides, formerly known as the Michigan Fish Advisory. The Eat Safe Fish Guides provide fish consumption guidelines based on the levels of chemicals in the edible portions (usually the filets) of fish taken from waterbodies around the state of Michigan.
“In an effort to better prepare Michigan residents for eating the fish they catch within our state, we are releasing these new Eat Safe Fish Guides to ensure people have access to the information they need to decide what fish, and how much, their family should eat,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “These new guides are an easy-to-use resource for individuals and families looking for information about healthful fish consumption.”
Throughout the past three years, and thanks to a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, MDCH’s Division of Environmental Health has completely updated the science behind the Michigan Fish Consumption Advisory Program making it more scientifically defensible, replicable, and transparent. Additionally, MDCH has updated its outreach plan regarding communicating the new Eat Safe Fish Guides to Michigan residents ensuring it is easier for people to understand and properly use the guidelines.
Unlike the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Michigan Fishing Guide, the MDCH Eat Safe Fish Guides are not laws or regulations and no one is required to use them. Instead, the Eat Safe Fish Guides are a free resource for Michigan residents who would like information regarding what fish and how much is healthy to consume from various bodies of water across the state.
While chemicals in fish are a worldwide problem not limited just to Michigan and other states in the Great Lakes region, it is important to note that fish from some areas in Michigan are more contaminated than others. By using the Eat Safe Fish Guides, Michigan fish consumers can be confident that they are making informed choices about eating the fish they catch from their local lake or river.
For more information or to view the new Eat Safe Fish Guide for your region, visit www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish or call 1-800-648-6942.