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Fish Advisories in National Wildlife Refuges - New Director's Order

Date Posted: May 16, 2007

This new Order from the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service covers National Wildlife Refuges, Wetland Management Districts, and National Fish Hatcheries. The Order directs managers of any of these Fish and Wildlife Service-owned properties that allow recreational fishing to take actions to inform those fishing of:

1) Any fish consumption advisories in effect for their waters; and,

2) the risks to human health associated with eating specific fish caught in those waters.


If chemicals, such as mercury or dioxin, are found in local fish and are believed to be high enough to be a human health concern, then a state may issue health advice to the public in the form of a fish consumption advisory. A fish consumption advisory may include recommendations to limit or avoid eating certain fish species caught from specific waterbodies or, in some cases, from specific waterbody types (for example: all lakes). An advisory may be issued for everyone who may eat the fish, or for specific groups such as people who depend on the fish as an important food source, or for sensitive groups such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children. A consumption advisory is not law, but rather a voluntary recommendation issued to let people know that eating the fish may have risks.

Contacts:
Krista Holloway, Division of Policy and Directives Management

Links:
Director's Order No. 190. 04/26/07. Fish Advisories in National Wildlife Refuges, Wetland Management Districts, and National Fish Hatcheries

The U.S. EPA provides information on Current Fish Consumption Advisories

Last updated: February 13, 2013