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Is Striped Bass Edible?

striped bass for dinner

No matter how it’s prepared, striped bass has great nutritional value and a great taste. However, is striped bass safe to eat? Striped bass is a sport and predatory fish. These types absorb harmful levels of heavy metals and chemicals in their bodies, like mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). 


Is Striped Bass Safe to Eat?


Mercury impairs central nervous system development and irreversible brain damage to fetuses, infants, and young children. PCB is a toxic chemical that can cause reproductive diseases, nervous system disorders, and cancer. It accumulates in the fatty tissues and organs of fish like striped bass. 


Who Should Avoid Eating Striped Bass?

Children, nursing or pregnant women, and women who may get pregnant should avoid eating striped bass. Others should limit their consumption to at most 2 servings per week. 


However, the amount of mercury and PCB in a fish can vary depending on age, size, and the region where it is caught. All striped bass contain some mercury, but an older fish will have more in its body than a smaller one. If it lives for a long time in contaminated waters, it will have a greater concentration of PCB and mercury. For this reason, farmed striped bass actually contains fewer toxins than wild bass. 


So, is striped bass safe to eat? Since mercury and PCB levels can vary in different regions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends checking the local advisories for guidelines and information on safe fish consumption in your area. Striped bass may look and taste great, but it is important to limit your consumption and avoid it completely if you are in the high-risk group. 

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