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Recommended Study Design for a Survey to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Mississippi Delta Fish Advisories

Throughout the Mississippi Delta, fishing is an important part of life, and most people eat what they catch. Beginning in the 1950s, organochlorine pesticides were heavily used for agricultural purposes throughout the Delta and continued to be used until several of the more toxic compounds, such as DDT and toxaphene, were banned for such use in the United States in the early 1970s. Monitoring by Mississippi State and Federal agencies of tissue from fish species harvested from Delta lakes during the 1970s through the 1990s revealed levels of the insecticides DDT and toxaphene that exceed levels of concern for public health. Fish consumption advisories were issued by Mississippi in order to help ensure protection of public health.

This report summarizes phase one of a two phase study designed to determine whether existing fish consumption recommendations issued by the state of Mississippi are adequately protecting sport and subsistence consumers of fish harvested from Delta waters.

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