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For Immediate Release
July 3, 2014

DHEC Releases Safe Fish Eating Advisory  for S.C. Waters

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Fishing in South Carolina is a summer hobby for many people, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has updated the fish consumption advisory to help the public identify fish safe to eat and others to avoid. 

"Our website has a state map with the latest advisories, information, a booklet and other materials free to download," said David Wilson, chief of DHEC's Bureau of Water. "This information will help anglers determine whether to keep and eat the fish they catch in South Carolina waters or release them."

According to Wilson, the most significant change to the 2014 advisory is related to Polychlorinated Biphenyl, commonly known as PCBs. These human-made compounds were once used for industrial purposes, but were banned from US production in the 1970s. PCBs can adversely impact the neurological development of children, the reproductive system, the immune system, and cause cancer. Additional consumption advice due to PCBs is a result of more intensive collection and testing by DHEC, and is unlikely due to anything recently added to the water. 

"People can still safely eat fish taken from the state's waters if they follow the fish consumption advisory guidelines," Wilson said. "These guidelines highlight the types and amounts of fish that are safe to eat from South Carolina waters."

Each advisory is based on one meal (or 8 ounces) of uncooked fish, which is about the size of two decks of cards. Consumption advice is given for a specific species of fish within a water body. The contamination is in the fish and does not make the water unsafe for recreational or drinking uses.

Fish are an important part of a healthy diet for everyone, contain protein and nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids. Wilson said pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, infants, and children should not eat any fish with an advisory. 

Updates for the Great Pee Dee River, Lake Wylie, Catawba River, Fishing Creek Reservoir, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Lake Wateree and Wateree River are included in the 2014 advisory. 

The 2014 Fish Consumption Advisory is now available online or copies are available from DHEC county public health departmentsDHEC regional officesDNR district officesSportsman's Warehouse in ColumbiaBass Pro Shop in Myrtle Beach, OB/GYN offices, health clinics and many state parks, or on DHEC's website at http://www.scdhec.gov/fish. For more information about fish consumption advisories, call DHEC's Fish Advisory Hotline toll-free at 1-888-849-7241. \

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For media inquiries:
Jim Beasley - (803) 898-7769
Email - beaslejc@dhec.sc.gov

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