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Information on Consumption Advisories, Possession Bans, and Rescinded Orders-Seafood and Aquatic Life

To inform the public of unsafe contaminant levels in fish and shellfish harvested from public waters of Texas, we issue consumption advisories or possession bans.

Consumption Advisory

Our consumption advisories may recommend limited or no consumption of fish or aquatic life from a body of water. This is because tests found contaminants at unsafe levels. Eating more fish or aquatic life than our consumption advisory recommends may pose potential human health risks. It is not illegal to harvest fish or aquatic life from a body of water with a consumption advisory, as long as you follow Texas Parks and Wildlife Department harvest regulations.

Possession Ban

A possession ban prohibits the taking of fish or aquatic life from a body of water. These bans are usually because tissue testing indicates the likelihood of a serious or imminent threat to public health. If you take fish or aquatic life from a closed or prohibited area, it is a violation of state law under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Rescinded Consumption Advisory or Possession Ban

A rescinded consumption advisory or possession ban is a cancelled consumption advisory or possession ban.

Testing of Water Bodies

Fish and aquatic life in many Texas bodies of water contain contaminants. The level of contaminants, if eaten, may pose a threat to human health. We test fish and aquatic life tissues from Texas public waters to find contaminant levels. Our testing helps us assess human health risks from consumption of fish or aquatic life. We also inform the public about unsafe contaminant levels in fish and aquatic life by issuing consumption advisories and possession bans (closures).

We do not routinely test fish and aquatic life for unsafe levels of contaminants from Texas public waters. We also haven’t tested fish and aquatic life from all Texas public waters. We test fish and aquatic life as resources allow.

Also See:
Texas Fish Consumption Advisory Program Standard Operating Procedures (PDF, 1.9MB)

Last updated June 6, 2022