Environmental contaminants

Environmental Contaminants


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What do we know about cisco?

Ciscos are silver in color, but there are a variety of cisco species that have different coloring. For example, lake ciscos have a pinkish hue on the sides and bering ciscos have a brown/green back.

Ciscos, like most other fish species, often contain some mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal contaminant that can build up in the organs and in the meat.

Ciscos eat insects and plankton. Ciscos do not normally eat other fish unless they grow to larger sizes. Fish that do not eat other fish tend to have lower levels of mercury.

Cisco is good for us!

Cisco meat is an excellent source of protein. Protein is needed to build and repair all parts of the body. It also provides healthy fats, called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats help to keep the heart healthy and are good for brain development.

For more nutritional information on fish, see the GNWT Health and Social Services Nutritional Food Fact Sheets Series.

Is cisco safe to eat?

Yes! Ciscos are safe to eat. It is also one of the healthiest foods available. The benefits of consuming ciscos are much greater than the risks of contaminant exposure. A consumption notice has never been issued by the NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer to limit the intake of ciscos.

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