First Advisor

Karen Watanabe

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Studies and University Honors


Environmental Studies


Interagency coordination -- Pacific Northwest, Health risk communication, Fish as food -- Contamination -- Pacific Northwest, Fish as food -- Health aspects -- Pacific Northwest, Mercury -- Toxicology




Fish consumption advisories (FCAs) are intended to protect the public from toxicants, such as methylmercury, that bioaccumulate in fish tissues. Women of childbearing age, children and subsistence fishers are particularly vulnerable to methylmercury exposure, as it is a known neurotoxin that harms the central nervous system. Resources, collaboration and protocols to establish FCAs vary from state to state. This study examines resources available to states in the Pacific Northwest to develop and institute statewide largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) advisories. Similarities and differences are identified between public agencies that facilitate FCAs in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. My findings revealed funding and collaboration between federal and state agencies is inconsistent, as long-term, direct funding mechanisms do not exist for personnel, sampling and laboratory analyses, impacting the ability to establish and update advisories. I recommend increased funding and data sharing amongst agencies, standardized reporting of fish tissue data, and formalized collaborative governance amongst federal and state agencies to ensure consistent and long-term support of FCAs.


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