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Information on Consumption Advisories, Possession Bans, and Rescinded Orders - Seafood and Aquatic Life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, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issues consumption advisories or possession bans.

Consumption Advisory

A consumption advisory issued by the DSHS may recommend limited or no consumption of fish or aquatic life from a body of water because tests found contaminants at unsafe levels. Eating more fish or aquatic life than recommended by a consumption advisory may pose potential human health risks. Harvesting fish or aquatic life from a body of water with a consumption advisory is not illegal as long as Texas Parks and Wildlife Department harvest regulations are followed.

Possession Ban

A possession ban prohibits the taking of fish or aquatic life from a body of water where tissue testing indicates the likelihood of a serious or imminent threat to public health. Taking fish or aquatic life from a closed or prohibited area is a violation of state law enforceable by 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Rescinded Consumption Advisory or Possession Ban

A rescinded consumption advisory or possession ban is a cancelled consumption advisory or possession ban.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 bodies of water in Texas contain contaminants at levels that, if consumed, may pose a threat to human health. The DSHS tests fish and aquatic life tissues from public waters of Texas to determine contaminant levels and to assess human health risks from consumption of fish or aquatic life. The DSHS informs the public of unsafe contaminant levels in fish and aquatic life by issuing consumption advisories and possession bans (closures).

The DSHS does not routinely test fish and aquatic life for unsafe levels of contaminants from public waters of Texas, nor has the DSHS tested fish and aquatic life from all public waters of Texas. The DSHS tests fish and aquatic life as resources allow.

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

Last updated July 19, 2018