June 4, 2009

Atlantic striped bass focus of Md. warning

State officials in Maryland say Atlantic striped bass caught in coastal waters should not be consumed because they may contain a toxic substance.

The Baltimore Sun said Maryland Department of the Environment officials have urged the general public to avoid consuming striped bass and bluefish from coastal waters more than once a month.

The warning from the state agency was in response to the recent discovery of high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in fish caught in area coastal waters, the newspaper said Thursday.

The neurotoxin, also known as PCBs, is thought to be a human carcinogen.

Department of the Environment Science Services Director Rich Eskin told the Sun the state warning did not mean people should stop fishing, but should just limit their consumption of the targeted species from coastal waters.

We encourage people to keep fishing. Fish to your heart's content. Eat only some of it. And eat the smaller fish, Eskin said.

The agency official added updates regarding the precautionary order would come when necessary.