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Mercury in Chesapeake Bay Seafood

Fish on display in a supermarket. ©istockphoto.com

Fish on display in a supermarket. ©istockphoto.com

When scientists talk about mercury in fish, they often refer to one of three types of broad categories of fish: bottom feeder, middle predator, or top predator. But, says Mike Newman of VIMS, these categories don’t provide consumers with useful information about the risk or benefit of local seafood they might eat. Using samples caught during a 2009 trawl survey, Newman and Mary Fabrizio of VIMS will analyze finfish for mercury and develop a database of mercury levels in fish based on fish species and size. By connecting mercury data with fish characteristics that are easy to observe, researchers may be able to help consumers more easily understand the risk or benefit of eating a particular fish.

Project detail: Michael Newman (VIMS) and Mary Fabrizio (VIMS). Ecologically-framed mercury database, exposure modeling and risk/benefit communication to lower Chesapeake Bay fish consumers.