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Old 26-04-2015, 15:13   #1
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Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Hello All,

I have read that our Oceans are Polluted and Becoming More So, and Eating Fish from them is Not Advisable.

However, fishing is big business and some parts of the different oceans must be A OK to process fish (tuna, cod, others) in large qualities for the consumer.

My interest in fishing is for a long voyage and supplementing my on-board food supply along the way. However, I don't want to get sick from eating tainted fish with mercury or whatever.

My Original Question:

1. What Part of the Oceans (i. e. Atlantic, Pacific, & Others) are known to be Polluted ?

2. What Name/ Kind of Fish are Most Likely to Be More Contaminated then Others ?


Thanks in Advance,

Avery
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Old 26-04-2015, 17:07   #2
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Other than avoiding those reef species known to carry ciguatera or poisonous fish there are no generally dangerous ones. Mercury levels in some fish, such as swordfish, have been touted and ignored for years. Don't eat it every day and you're safe. Some harbors are sewers. Don't eat fish caught there. Act logically and you're safe.
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Old 26-04-2015, 17:25   #3
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

The oceans are not polluted though we are trying to get them that way. Some semi enclosed bays are periodically flooded with sewage from your local sewage treatment plant or other point source pollution but it is limited in area.

There are some types of pelagic fish that have a minute but measurable mercury content but you'd have to eat LARGE amounts of the fish on a daily basis for a lifetime to have a measurable accumulation and then it probably wouldn't have any effect. These fish have had these levels of Mercury for as long back as we can find flesh samples and think that is centuries.

Eating fish from certain areas of rivers can have issues from PCBs and other long lived pollutants. For PCBs, if you eat the fish as Sashimi , raw, you are probably safe as it takes heat to break down the PCBs into a harmful form. Personally, I don't eat freshwater fish.

Some Islands in Tropical Oceans have local fish poisoning called ciquatera. It apparently builds up as you go up the food chain so large fish, especially predators, are the most effected. Ciguatera has nasty long lasting effects to the nervous system and can even be fatal. Fortunately, the effects go away over time and usually aren't severe unless you are repeatedly infected. The locals don't really know where and what fish are toxic so aren't a good source of information of which fish to eat. Fortunately ciguatera is localized to a few islands. The Marquesas are particularly bad, the Tuamotus and the Societies pretty much ciguatera free. Don't know specifics about other areas. We are talking reef fish, btw. Pelagic fish and lobsters aren't an issue. Once again, Ciguatera has been around forever. First cases reported to the Western World by the discoverer of the Marquesas Islands in the 1600s.

If you want to be worried about pollution, your backyard is quite likely to be the worst place you'll encounter. Check with the locals whether there's Ciguatera on their island if you are cruising in the tropics. Be more concerned about the fertilizer and pesticides you are putting on your yard. Don't listen to the sky is falling crowd. Poisson Cru made with fresh lime and coconut milk is so ono.
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Old 26-04-2015, 18:44   #4
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Jim Walsh & RoverHi & All,

Thank You for Your Input. I did some searches on the internet and came up short on information. Rover Hi, you really explained everything quite well and I get it -- ref. pollution & effect on fish & expected locations.... it now.

Thanks A Lot,

Avery
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Old 26-04-2015, 19:28   #5
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Don't believe everything you read. If you're that worried about it... then don't eat fish.
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Old 26-04-2015, 20:15   #6
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Quote:
Fortunately, the effects go away over time and usually aren't severe unless you are repeatedly infected. The locals don't really know where and what fish are toxic so aren't a good source of information of which fish to eat. Fortunately ciguatera is localized to a few islands.
Sadly, there is some misinformation here:

The excretion of the ciguatoxin from one's liver is very slow indeed, and the effects of eating just one badly infected fish can be fatal, especially if a long term exposure has gradually built up the toxin level in your liver. Locals often do not have reliable info on which fish are suspect in their area... locals often are affected by ciguaterra. And finally, it is not localized to a few islands. It is found in most coral reef areas in the Pacfic these days, including especially New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomons, and even Queensland. Eating top of the food chain fish in those islands is risky, and I can report from personal experience that it is a very unpleasant disease, even when not fatal.

Cheers,

Jim, using Ann's computer
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Old 26-04-2015, 21:54   #7
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Ciguaterea ia a very serious illness. I was in the Marquesas at the same time as Roverhi, and another cruising friend (who spoke French) had dinner with the local doctor, and was told too not pay attention to what the locals say about fish, since the hospital was full of fish poisoning victoms, (all locals). In the the Caribbean I almost never ate local caught fish, but got very good at lobster diving. Lobster dont seem to get the fish poison. Be very careful. _____Grant.
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Old 27-04-2015, 00:29   #8
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Wow & Wow Again.

Great Information and I heard You All... Loud & Clear !

I'm concerned already about fishing anywhere and not even out to sea. I get it about Reef Fish and they are not on my menu. I considered fishing on my way to HI from CA and miles & miles away from the coast line.

I have friends that have flown helicopters to spot fish for the large fishing ships. So, I assumed, that their are areas of Ocean where it's safe to fish.

I have (nearly) zero knowledge about where I could fish and be (99.99%) safe on eating fish caught in this specific area of (deep) ocean.

Can anyone comment on safe areas to fish in the oceans ?!?

Thanks'

Avery
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Old 27-04-2015, 00:51   #9
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

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Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post

Can anyone comment on safe areas to fish in the oceans ?!?
Anywhere you want!
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Old 27-04-2015, 01:54   #10
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

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Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post

Can anyone comment on safe areas to fish in the oceans ?!?

Thanks'

Avery
Hi Avery,

I am not into scaremongering, but I doubt very much a 99.99% safe ocean area still exist.
Pollution is everywhere even in remote Antartica.

It has been already said, the locals are NOT a reliable source of information :
1) In a number of area with a low or non existant level of education, pollution issues are beyond their understanding.
Should they be told by scientists and despite scientifical EVIDENCE.
2) Locals rely instead on old wives tales, superstitions....Oops, sorry culture.
3) Locals have their own agenda :
Tourists bring $$$$, they do not want to put them off.
It goes as far as supplying false informations deliberatly.
(understand locals cannot care less about your health, tourists come and go, you are just one of them).

4) I can think of a number of sunny locations where sewage stations are yet to invented, obviously the wild life "benefits" from it.
By tradition/custom/culture (thick box which you prefer) locals dispose of their rubbish by throwing it at sea (includes fecals).
Human bacteria induced pollutionS are another issue, but this not your question.

Greenies have also their own agenda, Sea Shepherd comes to mind, for instance they make a fuss about the pilot whale hunting in the Faroe islands, something which belongs to the Faroe people culture since Viking times, not talking about a 200 years old "culture" here, but do not question that same Faroe whale hunters are poisonning their children with the high level of mercury found in said pilot whales.

Refer to rule : I question issues that I am comfortable with the answer.

So, you need to be your own marine biologist.

Predators which are on top of the food chain accumulate pollution from the smaller fish they eat.
The longer they live, the higher the level of toxics raise.

a "safe" fish is therefore a small fish, with a short life span and feeding itself on sea weeds.
But again, there are exceptions should the sea bed and subsequently sea weeds be polluted.

You do not mention seashells....filtering sea water...
and fish living on a seashell diet.


So, no definite answer, for a couple of weeks vacations, safe from the obvious poisonous fish, you will be fine.
You will be exposed to pollution just like in a big mega city, a different one, maybe.
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Old 27-04-2015, 03:38   #11
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Another Wow, What is this (our oceans) World Coming To ?????

I eat at -- Red Lobster and a local Japan Seafood Restaurant about twice a month. I eat at Fast Food Seafood Places about twice a month as well. My usual purchase is a seafood platter. My Son eats organic type foods and buys lot of -- salmon, tuna & white fish, etc. .

So, what am I eating... safe or not. Now, I'm getting a little gun shy of what may be in the seafood I've been eating weekly and doing so on al long term basis.

Avery
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Old 27-04-2015, 04:36   #12
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

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Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post
Another Wow, What is this (our oceans) World Coming To ?????


Avery

Yep, I wonder...

Well, I am prejudiced against red tuna from the Med, I would not eat it cooked as recommended above (PCB).

Same goes for salmon from salmon farms, just google Salmon and Antibiotics.

Perhaps are you fortunate to be able to buy salmon, wild from the pacific and non Med tuna.
At the end of the day we are all left trusting our governmental food autorities, FDA and others...
Whatever food lands in your plate has to meet standards.
In countries where no standards exist, as a tourist you do not have much to fear from an occasional intake, safe from a "holliday tummy".


Locals are more at risk, as explained.
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Old 27-04-2015, 07:03   #13
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post
Another Wow, What is this (our oceans) World Coming To ?????

I eat at -- Red Lobster and a local Japan Seafood Restaurant about twice a month. I eat at Fast Food Seafood Places about twice a month as well. My usual purchase is a seafood platter. My Son eats organic type foods and buys lot of -- salmon, tuna & white fish, etc. .

So, what am I eating... safe or not. Now, I'm getting a little gun shy of what may be in the seafood I've been eating weekly and doing so on al long term basis.

Avery
If you're truly this worried and/or ignorant of the facts.... you shouldn't be eating fish... or even out sailing. IMHO


Where do you think the safe to eat fish in your local grocery story come from?


Some magical place in the ocean? Or, maybe... Mars?
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Old 27-04-2015, 07:17   #14
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Regarding ciguatera, I believe the effects come on quite fast, maybe Jim can confirm this. Also it is found in larger reef fish so fishing for smaller fish is probably safer. I did hear in the Caribbean it's not common south of dominica, maybe someone can confirm that as well.
So given those facts the best practice is to fish smaller fish, or non predatory species, south of dominica and always test a small sample on a crew member for 2 hrs before consuming any yourself
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Old 27-04-2015, 07:28   #15
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Re: Polluted Oceans, What Kind of Fish are Safe to Eat ?

Just to be on the safe side I recommend you do not consume seafood from the earths oceans as the meat is probably full of dangerous chemicals.

This will leave more for those of us that enjoy seafood and are willing to risk it all.

On top of that, stay away from any freshwater fish. Filled with mercury and PCBs. Very bad for you and high risk.
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