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Mercury in Yukon Fish

Data from recent studies has shown that Yukon fish are safe to eat. Harvesting fish also provides health, social, cultural and economic benefits to people in our communities. Fish in a number of Yukon lakes have been tested for mercury, and most of them are below Health Canada’s guideline for commercial fish.

The Health Canada guideline serves as a benchmark that allows us to recommend safe consumption limits with a high degree of confidence. It also allows us to be able to compare locally harvested fish to commercially caught species. Yukoners are safe to eat as much locally caught fish as they like, except for the limits stated below:

Women of child-bearing age and children under 12 should limit their consumption of large Yukon lake trout and burbot to:

  • less than 40 cm (less than 2 lbs) = unlimited consumption
  • between 40 and 60 cm (between 2 - 6 lbs) = limit to 3 to 4 meals per week
  • greater than 60 cm (or more than 6 lbs) = limit to 1 or 2 meals per week

Again, men, women who are not of child-bearing age, and children over the age of 12 can eat as much lake trout and burbot as they wish. There are no consumption guidelines on other Yukon fish at this time.

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Contact info

Mercury in Yukon Fish

Any health related questions regarding mercury in fish can be directed to:

Dr. Brendan Hanley
Chief Medical Officer of Health for Yukon
Yukon Health and Social Services
867-667-5771

Questions related to the research data can be directed to:

Nathan Millar
Senior Fisheries Biologist
Environment Yukon
867-667-5117

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT);

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