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Water Stewardship Division

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Mercury in Fish

Manitoba offers many opportunities for recreational angling, and many anglers choose to keep some of their catch for consumption. Although fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and high quality protein, all fish contain some mercury because it is a naturally occurring element.

The concentration of mercury in fish varies with species, size, and environmental conditions. Older, larger fish generally have a higher concentration of mercury in their tissues than younger, smaller fish. Fish that feed on other fish such as walleye and northern pike tend to have more mercury in their tissues than fish that feed on insects or plankton such as whitefish and goldeye.

The consumption guidelines were developed so that the nutritional benefits of consuming fish can be achieved without exceeding safe concentrations of mercury. For more information on mercury in fish in Manitoba and the development of consumption guidelines, please see the Mercury in Fish brochure (version français).

To determine your safe limits of fish consumption by species, size and capture location, click here.