Alabama Department of Public Health issues fish consumption advisory list

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Alabama Department of Public Health warns that several waterways in North Alabama have fish that could be harmful for people to eat.

The fish advisory list is based on data collected from bodies of water across the state. Those samples help determine if the fish in Alabama waterways are too dangerous to eat.

David Whiteside with Tennessee Riverkeeper said, "If you're out there and are going to catch a fish, please read the fish advisories first and know where you're fishing, know if it's safe to fish. If you're fishing in a spot that's not safe, you have a right to be upset about that and you have a right to ask tough questions to your politicians."

Whiteside said habitual pollution is the reason why the fish aren't safe to eat.

"It's unfortunate that this day in age has to worry about being poisoned from eating a fish that they catch in one of our waterways," said Whiteside. "There are several causes of that problem the failure of government officials to protect our waterways and our fish."

Several waterways from the Sand Mountain area to Muscle Shoals fall under the do-not-eat advisory. The contaminants in Alabama waters include mercury, PCBs, chlordane, and DDTs.

Whiteside says Alabamians should demand better.

"There's no such thing as Republican water or Democratic water, or Conservative fish or Liberal fish. This is a non-partisan issue and everyone in Alabama wants clean water."

The group most at-risk of getting sick from contaminated fish are infants, children, and pregnant women.