Course Description

Determining if subsistence fish and shellfish are safe for consumption
Course ID: 
Remediation / Toxicology
Continuing Education Units: 

This course will help attendees understand which chemical contaminants can be found in fish and shellfish and why they are of concern to those who eat these resources.

The workshop will allow participants to learn the scientific methods used to assess which chemicals are in their subsistence resources and their concentrations. There will also be an emphasis on learning the calculations used to assess risk so attendees can understand the potential for harm. Native and other rural groups throughout Alaska more often rely on subsistence resources to a far greater degree than most other locations in the US. These higher consumption rates can change the results of the risk calculations. Course participants will learn what potential concerns there can be with the increased exposure due to these higher consumption rates. Course discussion will also help attendees understand the ways of limiting exposure through limiting consumption rates and different preparation methods.

Attendees will also learn the various methods for collecting fish and shellfish for sample analysis in addition to where to look for information on already analyzed samples like fish consumption advisories. These reports help provide vital information in order to make decisions related to the potential for harm from these exposures to contaminants.

You may register online or by calling the Northwest Environmental Training Center at (425) 270-3274. Online registration is strongly encouraged.

Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements.

Attendees will receive a course manual containing workshop proceedings and reference material.

Intended Audience: 

This course is designed for tribal members, practitioners and agency personnel, including toxicologists, biologists, ecologists, hydrologists, planners and regulators responsible for assessing contaminants in fish and shellfish and also for those seeking a greater understanding of the contaminants in these subsistence resources.

More Information

Course Topics

1. Which chemicals are likely in fish and shellfish

2. How to collect samples to have analyzed 

3. Why be concerned about these chemicals in food

4. How we make decisions about allowable levels

5. Where to look for more information about already analyzed samples (e.g. fish consumption advisories) and what potential concerns should be.

6. How to limit exposure (e.g. limiting consumption, preparation methods, etc.)

What to Bring

Pen or pencil and paper if you do not want to take notes in your manual. Drinks and snacks will be provided each day. Lunch will be on your own.

Billing Information

In order to guarantee a space in a course, the tuition must be paid in full TWO WEEKS before the first day of the course by either check or credit card. State and government agencies paying with a purchase order are allowed payment under the two-week time frame if a copy of the purchase order is received by NWETC.

If You Need to Cancel


  • With 31 or more days notice, we will offer a 100% refund or credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With 30-8 days notice, we will offer a course credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With fewer than 8 days notice, there is no course credit available

*Please note that attendee replacement is welcome at any time

Disability Accommodations

Disability Accommodations:

No upcoming offerings

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