Mercury Detected in Fish

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and the Belize Electric Company Limited (BECOL), has completed another assessment of mercury levels in fishes from the New River, Macal River, Mopan River and Belize River, including Big Falls.
This advisory is being issued to guide the public on the amount of fish that can be safely eaten to avoid ill effects due to mercury exposure.
Fish monitoring in rivers:
In this fish mercury testing, a total of 22 fish species were captured with a total of 705 fishes coming from 13 locations. Analysis of fish samples for this mercury testing indicated that all fish had levels of mercury under the recommended safety level. The highest level of mercury was 0.38 mg/kg in the basa and the lowest 0.06 in the green swordtail. This is the first time the results had fallen below the recommended safe levels of 0.5mg/kg. The Ministry, however, cautions on the recommended fish to be eaten since the fish are not totally free of mercury.
Recommended weekly consumption amounts of fish:

Since all mercury results have fallen below the recommended safe levels of 0.5mg/kg the Ministry of Health is discontinuing the recommendations for the replacement of omega fatty acid which is now readily available through local fish consumption. The Ministry of Health assures the public that it remains watchful on this issue and will continue to issue the necessary advisories as required.
The Ministry reminds the public to remain safe and follow the recommended weekly consumption of quantities of fish from the Macal, Mopan, Belize and New rivers, including Big Falls.

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