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Saltwater Fish & Lobster Tomalley Safe Eating Guidelines
Warning: Chemicals in some Maine saltwater fish and lobster tomalley may harm people who eat them. Women who are or may become pregnant and children should carefully follow the Safe Eating Guidelines.
It's hard to believe that fish that looks, smells, and tastes fine may not be safe to eat. But the truth is that some saltwater fish have mercury, PCBs and Dioxins in them.
All these chemicals settle into the ocean from the air. PCBs and Dioxins also flow into the ocean through our rivers. These chemicals then build up in fish.
Small amounts of mercury can damage a brain starting to form or grow. That's why babies in the womb, nursing babies, and young children are at most risk. Mercury can also harm older children and adults, but it takes larger amounts.
PCBs and Dioxins can cause cancer and other health problems if too much builds up in your body. Since some saltwater fish contain several chemicals, we ask that all consumers of the following saltwater species follow the safe eating guidelines.
Revised June 3, 2009
Safe Eating Guidelines
- Striped Bass and Bluefish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant, nursing mothers and children under 8 years should not eat any striped bass or bluefish. All other individuals should eat no more than 4 meals per year.
- Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, and Tilefish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age are advised to not eat any swordfish or shark. All other individuals should eat no more than 2 meals per month.
- Canned Tuna: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age can eat no more than 1 can of "white" tuna or 2 cans of "light" tuna per week.
- All other ocean fish and shellfish, including canned fish and shellfish: Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant and children under 8 years of age can eat no more than 2 meals per week.
- Lobster Tomalley: No Consumption. While there is no known safety considerations when it comes to eating lobster meat, consumers are advised to refrain from eating the tomalley. The tomalley is the soft, green substance found in the body cavity of the lobster. It functions as the liver and pancreas, and test results have shown the tomalley can accumulate contaminants found in the environment.
For more information, call (866)-292-3474, or read the Freshwater Fish Safe Eating Guidelines.