Key messages

  • Fish is an important part of a healthy diet.
  • Some varieties of fish (commercially sold or caught recreationally) may contain high levels of mercury.
  • Mercury can be harmful if too much of it is ingested.
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand provide advice on the number of serves of commercially sold fish that people should eat.
  • An investigation into the mercury levels in fish in the Gippsland Lakes found that fish sourced from the Gippsland Lakes are safe to eat.

About the study

In May 2015, the Victorian Government commenced a field study into levels of mercury in fish from the Gippsland Lakes. The study aimed to address community concerns about mercury levels in fish, and if appropriate to provide reassurance to the community that fish sourced from the Lakes are safe to eat.

It aimed to provide up-to-date information regarding the mercury concentrations in recreationally (and commercially) important fish species from the region. Results of mercury concentrations in fish were made available to the community in September 2015 and indicated that fish in the Gippsland Lakes continue to have low levels of mercury, and are safe to eat in accordance with nationally set dietary advice about the number of serves of fish and seafood people should eat each week.

The technical report detailing the study methodology and its findings and a frequently asked questions document are available for download.