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New Jersey

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Health Advisory

Eating Fish and Crabs Caught In New Jersey Waters

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Fishing provides enjoyable and relaxing recreation. Fish are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients and play a role in maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. Many anglers enjoy cooking and eating their own catch. However, elevated levels of potentially harmful chemical contaminants such as dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides and mercury have been found in certain fish and crabs in some New Jersey waters. Fish consumption advisories have been adopted to guide citizens on safe consumption practices.

To reduce exposure to harmful chemical contaminants when preparing and eating the fish species taken from the identified waters, it is essential to follow the guidelines provided. The DEP encourages you to consult the Fish Smart-Eat Smart Fish Advisory Guide or, for a complete list of state and federal marine fish consumption advisories visit for making decisions about eating recreationally caught fish and crabs.

Sheet Pan Dinner: Baked Cod with Vegetables


  • 1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 four-ounce skinless cod fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 15x10-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Toss asparagus and cherry tomatoes with the olive oil; spread on the baking sheet. Place cod fillets on top.
  3. Brush the fish with the lemon juice; sprinkle with the lemon zest. Sprinkle everything with Parmesan, onion powder, and a little salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 12-15 minutes.
  5. Serve the fish with the roasted vegetables and lemon wedges on the side, if desired.


  • Substitute any white fish or other thin green vegetables, like green beans.
  • Add a couple pinches of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.