Fish Consumption Advisories, Contaminated Seafood

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In the figure below are the PCB advisories for fish in freshwater ponds in the Buzzards Bay watershed circa 2011, and the New Bedford fishing restrictions associated with the PCB Superfund site. The fishing bans in and around New Bedford Harbor were enacted in 1979 pursuant to 105 CMR 260. Separate from the fish taking bans (catch and release of fish in all areas is allowed), both the US EPA and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have advisories on the frequency of consumption of certain species and fish taken from certain areas. For the ponds and rivers highlighted in red in the map below, it is advised that pregnant women or young children do not consume fish caught there, because of the contamination indicated. Other adults should limit consumption frequency to state recommendations.

New Bedford Area Fish Taking Prohibitions

  • Area I: It is prohibited to take any fish, shellfish, or lobsters except bait fish.
  • Area II: It is prohibited take any lobster or bottom feeding fish (including eels, scup, flounder and tautog).
  • Area III: It is prohibited take lobsters.

map of seafood health advisories

Click the map above to enlarge. For the latest information, go to the Massachusetts Department of Health Freshwater Fish Consumption Advisory List and Map website.

Related Information:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Fish Consumption Advisories

EPA page about fish consumption advisories

EPA’s 2010 proposed changes for the New Bedford fish taking restrictions and consumption advisories.