Many of us love fish and certain fish and seafood is good for your health. The quality and origin of that fish is where the questions come in. More and more fish is showing to be contaminated with mercury, lead, and other contaminants.
Recent press releases point out problems with eating Asian fish. Most consumers feel fish is safe because the fish is inspected by the USDA now. Well the truth of the matter is that only 2 percent of the 5.2 billion pounds of seafood shipped into this country is inspected. That leaves 98% that is not.
Alabama Finds Severe Contamination In Asian Fish: Alabama is one of the only states that independently tests fish coming into their state. Most states rely on government inspection. Last year Congress passed a law that makes the USDA, rather than the FDA, responsible for fish inspection. The law passed requires that catfish and catfish products be regulated with the same USDA standards as pork, beef, and poultry. The USDA already shorthanded, does not have the agents to properly implement this new law. This law does not include other types of fish grown here or imported from Asia. Chinese catfish makes up 29% of imported fish products; Vietnam represents another 52% and Thailand 12 plus percent. There are thousands of small family owned fish markets and not enough agents to inspect most of them.
White Croaker Fish: Due to pollution and its inability to process those chemicals, the white croaker should not be eaten. The only way to tell if the fish is contaminated is by lab testing. You will find it in some Asian markets. It is impossible for USDA agents to find all the markets where it is being sold.
Alabama Bans Asian Fish: Alabama has halted the sale of Asian fish in that state. What they found will shock you: Antibiotic Fluoroquinolones given to fish but banned here in the United States due to consumer safety; salmonella contamination; illegal veterinarian drugs; fecal contamination; diseased fish; worm infested fish; and other contaminants.
Fish To Avoid: Mercury is high is Atlantic halibut, king mackerel, oysters, pike, sea bass, shark, swordfish, tile fish or golden snapper, and tuna steaks and canned albacore. Fish high in POPs or PCBs include farmed salmon and other farmed fish.
Fish Low In Mercury: anchovies, craw fish, Pacific Flounder, herring, king crab, scallops, Pacific Sole, tilapia not from the Salton Sea, Wild Alaska and Pacific Salmon, clams, Striped Bass, and Sturgeon.
Sardines: High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids with 1,950 mg per 3 oz serving. Sardines are high in protein and packed with Vitamin D. You can find canned sardines in many Dollar Stores and 99cent stores. They tend to be lower in Mercury and toxins.
Safe Measures When Eating Fish: It is best because of the problems to limit your fish intake. If you are pregnant, it is especially important to take precautions. When you eat fish, leave the skin and fatty parts of the fish. That is where the toxins collect. It is not a wise idea to eat raw fish. I know a lot of people love it, but when 98% of the fish is sold without inspection, you are really taking health risks. In Asian restaurants, you are more likely to end up with toxins included in your main meal. Is it worth the risk?
If you visit this site you will find fish advisories for different areas of the state: This tells you which fish you should avoid eating in your area. Fish included in warnings for certain areas ( Imperial Valley is one) include: Corvina, tilapia, croakers, and orange mouth. Bass in some areas cannot be eaten. If you love fishing and you eat your fish, you need to know this information.