Precautionary dietary advice for eight fin fish species caught in Botany Bay and Georges River

Fishermen planning to eat their catch of the day from Botany Bay and the Georges River have been issued a health warning by the NSW Government.

The Department of Primary Industries has released precautionary dietary advice for eight fin fish species caught in the bay and river, after testing found per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the species.

PFAS are a group of chemicals that have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment. 

There is no consistent evidence of any human health effects related to PFAS exposure, however, based on the evidence from animal studies, potential adverse health effects cannot be ruled out. 

Traces of PFAS have been found in Dusky Flathead, Sea Mullet, Mulloway, Luderick, Silver Trevally, Arripis Trutta (Australian Salmon), Estuary Perch and Tailor from Botany Bay and the lower Georges River.

Recreational fishers who regularly catch and eat these fish have been advised to safely manage their personal intake of these species.

Botany Bay and Georges River remain open to fishing and fishers who can still take fish within bag and size limits or they can catch and release.

Dietary Advice

The following tables list the number of serves of a single species that can be eaten each week to limit PFAS exposure to half of the health-based guideline value.

It is important to note that species-specific information is for when a single species of fish is eaten per week. Eating multiple species would result in a greater exposure.

Table 1

Maximum recommended weekly intake for species caught in the Georges River between Rabaul Road Boat Ramp and the Princes Highway (Tom Ugly’s) Bridge.

# No dietary advice is required based on the reported PFAS concentrations.

# No dietary advice is required based on the reported PFAS concentrations.

Table 2

Maximum recommended weekly intake for species caught in Botany Bay, and the Georges River downstream of the Princes Highway (Tom Ugly’s) Bridge.

# No dietary advice is required based on the reported PFAS concentrations.
** Arripis Trutta (Australian Salmon). Due to the elevated concentrations of PFAS reported in Arripis Trutta caught in Botany Bay, it is suggested that this species is catch and release only as a precautionary measure.

# No dietary advice is required based on the reported PFAS concentrations. ** Arripis Trutta (Australian Salmon). Due to the elevated concentrations of PFAS reported in Arripis Trutta caught in Botany Bay, it is suggested that this species is catch and release only as a precautionary measure.