Mercury

Health Canada has set fish consumption guidelines based on the concentration of mercury in fish tissue, and the human body’s ability to eliminate mercury at a slow rate (see table). Most mercury accumulation in Alberta fish comes from natural sources.

Dioxin and Furan

Toxic airborne substances from burning organics and waste-water discharges from industrial sites. Alberta Health has compiled fish advisories for the waterbodies exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants. Recommended limits for:

  • Brook Trout: 2 serving/week for waters within 20 kms of Swan Hills
  • Burbot: Avoid eating the liver, only fillet portions can be eaten without limits, from
    • Athabasca River downstream of Iron Point
    • Cutbank River and tributaries
    • Kakwa River and tributaries
    • Little Smoky River and tributaries
    • Smoky River and tributaries
    • Wapiti River and tributaries
  • Mountain whitefish: pregnant women and young children should avoid, others should limit consumption to no more than 1.5 servings/week from
    • Cutbank River and tributaries
    • Kakwa River and tributaries
    • Little Smoky River and tributaries
    • Simonette River and tributaries
    • Smoky River and tributaries
    • Wapiti River and tributaries

Note: 1 serving = 75 grams, ½ cup, or 2.5 oz

To review current fish consumption information, see:

WALL – Walleye
NRPK – Northern Pike
GOLD – Goldeye
EBTR – Eastern Brook Trout
MTWH – Mountain Whitefish
LKWH – Lake Whitefish
LKTR – Lake Trout
SAUG – Sauger
BURB - Burbot

1 lb = 454 grams**

1 serving = 75 grams/ 1/2 cup / 2.5 oz, or a piece of cooked fish that fits into the palm of your hand

Women refers to women of child-bearing age (15-49 years) and pregnant women.

Adult refers to adults and children over 12 years.

For detailed information about fish consumption advisories, please contact Alberta Health at (780) 427-4518.

Updated: Oct 31, 2014