Fish Consumption Advisories
“We’ve spent the last several years learning more about the anglers on our waterways throughout Alabama and we are excited to work with our partners to provide fish advisories in Spanish,” said Victoria Miller, ARA’s advocacy assistant.
Earlier this summer, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) released its annual fish consumption advisories, which highlight the state’s recommended limits on the consumption of different species of fish found in Alabama’s rivers and streams.
Presently, there are 227 advisories issued across 158 lakes, rivers and streams in Alabama.
Why the Fish Advisories Matter
After catching and testing certain types of fish, the state issues the consumption advisories to warn anglers NOT to consume fish that are contaminated with dangerous pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury. Many of the advisories warn the public not to eat any fish from the specific waterbody, while others recommend limiting exposure to one or two meals per month.
Public Health (ADPH) currently only distributes the advisories in English and online which does not account for any language, literacy, or technological barriers.
Thanks to the coalition of river protections that is about to change.
A Top Priority
Educating anglers about the fish they eat has been a conservation priority for nearly 30 years. This summer, Bham Now published an essay about the history of “Fisherman’s Right to Know” legislation and current initiatives.
Back in 2020, the Alabama Rivers Alliance also released an award-winning film on the topic.
“We’re looking forward to talking to our legislators this coming session about other ways we can ensure those who eat the fish in Alabama know about the advisories and they can be certain they are protected as they participate in one of Alabama’s favorite pastimes,” added Miller.
To learn more about the toxins in our fish and rivers, ways to reduce your exposure, and for more information about Fish Guide, please visit www.AlabamaRivers.org/FishGuide or see a map of the advisories for Alabama at WaterkeepersAlabama.org/Fish