Eating Safer Fish

Fish provide many dietary benefits as a source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. However, some types of fish can also be sources of harmful contaminants.

Check fish consumption advisories in your area and limit your consumption of high mercury fish and fish found to contain high levels of PFAS. Some types or sizes of fish may be protected and cannot be eaten — check catch limits or restrictions for different types of fish. Share consumption advisories and catch limit information with friends and family!

Check your local advisories

North Carolina Fish Consumption Advisories, NC Department of Health and Human Services

Fishing Regulations, NC Wildlife Resources Commission

You can reduce your exposure to contaminants in fish by choosing safer types of fish and by changing the way you prepare fish

A diagram showing how to filet a fish in five steps, from making a single cut behind the head, running it down the dorsal fin, cutting down to the tail, and making straight and shallow cuts towards the tail to separate the filet (not too much pressure) and removing the skin.
click image to enlarge

Preparation Tips

  • Remove skin and internal organs before cooking the fish. Discard the skin and organs (see diagram above)
  • Baking or broiling fish on a broiler tray instead of frying may help to reduce exposure to contaminants in the fish
  • Do not use the fat that comes out of the fish during cooking for sauces or other cooking purposes
  • NOTE: These preparation methods will not necessarily protect against certain contaminants in fish, including PFAS