Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Surface Water

Mercury in Sportfish Monitoring Program

The Mercury in Sportfish Monitoring Program assesses mercury concentrations in freshwater sportfish in order to support fish consumption advisories. This program is a joint effort of 3 provincial Departments - (Health, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Environment) in conjunction with certain industry sectors e.g. NS Power. This initiative contributes to the management of mercury sources including Long Range Transport of Air Pollutant (LRTAP) sources through the New England Governors / Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) Mercury Initiative. The management objectives are to protect both human health and that of aquatic life.

Fish samples are collected through various methods by NS Dept of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) staff and submitted to a laboratory for analyses. Parameters monitored include total and methyl mercury. Monitoring frequency is as required to update fish consumption advisories.

This program has been operational since the early 1990's with geographic coverage being province wide, with suspect areas targeted.

Fish consumption advisories are posted on summary Angling Regulations for NS and can be seen on the NSDFA sportfishing website (see page 31 of the Angling Regulations). For further information on the management and control of mercury sources see the Mercury Action Plan on the NEG/ ECP web page.