The Department of Energy and Environment have placed rockfish, also known as striped bass, caught in Washington, DC, on the “Do Not Eat” list. Recent testing in the Potomac River has confirmed high levels of PCBs and other contaminants in the fish. A PCB is a man-made industrial compound, and longterm exposure to these chemicals has been known to cause cancer in animals and numerous health problems for humans.
“We don’t believe there is a safe level of consumption,” says D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, director of the Department of Energy and Environment.
Testing in Washington, DC waters last year found PCB levels nearly 10 times higher than those in Maryland and Virginia, prompting the Dept. of Energy and Environment to place rockfish on the “Do Not Eat” list for the first time ever. This restriction is only for rockfish caught in DC. Officials are not yet sure what is causing the high levels of PCBs.
Also on the Do Not Eat list are eel and carp caught in Washington, DC. The Dept. of Energy and Environment says we may eat: four servings per month of sunfish, or three servings per month of blue catfish or white perch, or two servings per month of largemouth bass, or one serving per month of brown bullhead catfish or channel catfish. It is recommended to eat smaller fish of legal size and encouraged to practice catch and release fishing.
For more info on restrictions and recommendations, click to doee.dc.gov/service/fishing-district