Increase in consumption of oil rich fish in young people –

Increase in consumption of oil rich fish in young people Published:  30 June, 2008

Young people are now eating more oil-rich fish, according to independent research commissioned by Seafish, the Sea Fish Industry Authority.

Sales of sardines, salmon, mackerel and anchovy for children under ten years of age has increased by 23% year on year, with mackerel rising as much as 26%.

The increase, also reflected in volume and frequency, is being attributed to the increased awareness of the health benefits of omega 3, as well as a growing confidence amongst parents in preparing and cooking fish.

Head of Environment, Philip MacMullen says: “Oil-rich fish not only tastes delicious but is packed with essential fatty acids and nutrients known to help improve circulation and boost brain power. Most of these stocks are also under-exploited.

“Many consumers have previously been deterred from cooking fish such as mackerel because they have been unsure what do to with it. The explosion of cookery programmes and the popularity of chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has undoubtedly made fish a less daunting prospect for apprehensive cooks. Similarly ad campaigns such as Sainsbury’s ‘Try Something New Today’ have played a vital role in enthusing shoppers to sample the joys of oil-rich fish with quick and easy recipes.”

The Food Standards Agency currently advises that consumers eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Similarly in Scotland, the Schools Health Promotion and Nutrition (Scotland) Act 2007, stipulates that oil-rich fish should be on primary school menus at least once every three weeks.

Seafish launched ‘SuperHumans’, a healthy eating campaign in 2006, to encourage children to eat fish as part of their school lunch. As well as promoting the benefits of eating fish, the scheme released a catering manual with recipe ideas to enable catering staff to rise to the challenge of enticing children to eat more fish dishes. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.