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Fish from San Francisco Bay contain concentrations of mercury, PCBs, and other chemical contaminants that are above thresholds of concern for human health. This problem was first documented in 1994 when the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFBRWQCB) performed a pilot study to measure contaminant concentrations in Bay sport fish (Fairey et al. 1997). As a result of this pilot study the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued an interim health advisory for consumption of fish from San Francisco Bay. An updated advisory was issued in May 2011, and then revised again in April 2023. This updated advisory provides consumption advice for consumers of Bay caught fish including advice for sensitive populations (women of childbearing age and children). Click here xx to view a non-technical fact sheet on the San Francisco Bay consumption advisory, and here xx for links to the full report.
Sport fish sampling in the RMP began in 1997 and occurred through 2009 on a triennial basis. As of 2014, sampling occurs on a five year cycle. The most recent sampling effort occurred in 2019 xx.
You can also find answers to the question "Is it safe to eat fish and shellfish from my local lakes or coastal areas?" by checking out the interactive map on the My Water Quality website.
This project is coordinated through the RMP Sport Fish Strategy Team that includes staff from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and other interested parties. This advisory group convenes prior to each sampling effort in order to develop a sampling plan.
Data from previous monitoring efforts can be accessed through CD3, and each year a report xx is published.
Programs and Focus Areas:
Clean Water Program