Fall in seafood pollutant levels welcomed by Seafish – Fishupdate.com

Fall in seafood pollutant levels welcomed by Seafish Published:  17 February, 2006

THE findings of two studies published today which reinforce the message that consumers should eat more seafood have been welcomed by The Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish).

The two Food Survey Information Sheets (FSISs) published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), investigated levels of pollutants such as dioxins present in more then 40 species of fish and shellfish. The findings showed that levels of pollutants in most species of seafood continue to fall and, according to the FSA, reinforce their current advice that people should be regularly eating seafood as part of their diet.

Seafish Chief Executive John Rutherford said: “We’re delighted that these findings reinforce the message that seafood is not only a delicious, but also a safe, healthy part of a balanced diet. The findings clearly show that environmental measures carried out by industry are having a positive impact, to the extent that our seas are becoming cleaner and seafood is becoming even healthier.

“We also welcome the fact that the advice particularly promotes oil-rich fish as a healthy choice as it contains omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to have a beneficial effect in everything from heart health to conditions like dyslexia.”

Based on the findings of the survey, the FSA advice remains unchanged that some groups of people, for example pregnant women, should limit their consumption of oil-rich fish and consumers should ensure they eat a wide variety of species, for example those which contain very low levels of pollutants such as haddock and coley.

John Rutherford said: “Seafood is recognised by nutritional experts as a delicious, natural, versatile food which is good for you. Consumers should take note of the Food Standards Agency advice relating specifically to oil-rich fish and other species of whitefish that contain similar levels of pollutants but generally seafood is a safe, healthy food which forms an important part of the national diet.

“In addition there are over one hundred different species available to consumers in the UK – to lessen the demand on more traditional types of seafood, consumers should be encouraged to be more adventurous and try a wider range, ” he added.