Mercury in Fish

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Florida state health officials said they've finalized new guidelines for consuming fish that inhabit the state's mercury-polluted waterways, but critics said they don't go far enough.

The revisions are to be used as a guide in choosing what amounts of which fish can be safely eaten without risk of mercury poisoning. Several new species, including cobia, bluefish, little tunny and greater amberjack, have been added to the list of fish that should not be eaten frequently, especially by children or women of childbearing age.

One thing not on the Florida list is canned tuna, which a growing number of states have added to their consumption advisories. Florida's previous fish consumption advisory, which was last revised in 1996, addressed only fish caught by recreational anglers in areas known to be heavily contaminated with mercury.

Shark and swordfish are the undisputed kings of contamination when it comes to mercury. Federal officials also said king mackerel and tilefish also contain high levels of the heavy metal.

The state plans to publish a brochure on the new guidelines in February.