Fishing in Sydney Harbour
Previous test results have revealed elevated levels of dioxins in fish and crustaceans across Sydney Harbour, including Parramatta River and other connected tidal waterways. A ban was consequently placed on commercial fishing in 2006 as a precautionary measure.
Recreational fishing in the Harbour has not been banned, but fishers are urged to follow dietary advice on the consumption of seafood from the Sydney Harbour, Parramatta River and other connected tidal waterways. Fishers can also continue to practise catch and release. Based on advice from an expert panel, the Government is recommending that:
- No fish or crustaceans caught west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge should be eaten. You should release your catch.
- For fish caught east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge generally no more than 150 grams per month should be consumed.
- Testing of popular species has allowed for more accurate dietary advice.
The table below provides advice on the maximum consumption of single species.
|Recommended maximum intake based on eating a single species caught east of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.|
|Species||Number of 150 gram serves||Amounts per month|
|Prawns*||4 per month||600 g|
|Crab||5 per month||750 g|
|Bream||1 per month||150 g|
|Flounder||12 per month||1800 g|
|Kingfish||12 per month||1800 g|
|Luderick||12 per month||1800 g|
|Sand Whiting||8 per month||1200 g|
|Sea Mullet||1 every 3 months||50 g|
|Silver Biddie||1 per month||150 g|
|Silver Trevally||5 per month||750 g|
|Tailor||1 per month||150 g|
|Trumpeter Whiting||12 per month||1800 g|
|Yellowtail Scad||8 per month||1200 g|
|Squid||4 per month||600 g|
|Dusky flathead||12 per month||1800 g|
|Fanbellied leatherjacket||24 per month||3600 g|
Important Note: This advice is provided if one single species is being eaten. For example eating 150 grams of Bream and 600 grams of prawns in one month would exceed the recommended intake. Eating 300 g prawns, 300g sand whiting and 300g yellowtail scad in one month would equal the recommended maximum intake.
More information on dioxins
- Questions and answers on dioxins in fish and crustaceans in Port Jackson
- Food Standards Australia and New Zealand - Dioxins in Food
- Supplementary report from the expert panel considering the blood dioxin levels for Sydney Harbour fishermen and their families