The 10 most polluted fish in the world

Credit: Encelade Media Group Photos: Wikipedia/Pixabay

Many health bodies recommend eating fish at least twice per week as they are full of essential nutrients.  However some fish are also contaminated with pollutants and should be avoided!  Read on to discover more about the most polluted fish in the world. 

Every year, in the UK we eat on average 24 kg of seafood products per year which is slightly less than the European average of 25 kg per year.  British waters are a vibrant source of fish and seafood which is often exported to other European countries like France and Spain. In fact in France 70% of the total weight of fish consumed comes from foreign waters.

The fishing industry is not any better than livestock farming for the environment.  Many harmful substances are in our oceans from microplastics, estrogens, methylmercury or endocrine disruptors.  These pollutants can then make their way onto our dinner plates when we eat polluted fish. However some fish absorb these pollutants more than others… Read on to find out the most polluted fish.

Be careful what fish you eat!

Pollution doesn’t involve all fish in the same way.  Some fish are more sensitive to being contaminated than others.  There are more toxins found in the flesh of river fish than sea fish for example.  This is the case of eels and pike.  On the other hand, all fish are affected by microplastics particles, pharmaceutical products and chemicals.  So what is the solution?  You should try and choose fish that are from local fish farming areas or that are organically farmed as much as possible.  You could even try and reduce your consumption of certain types of fish.  There are other nutritional alternatives that exist.  In any case you shouldn’t over eat the fish that are listed below.  We’re not saying don’t eat fish but perhaps think about what could be lurking inside the fish that you eat! .

espèces en voie de disparition poisson
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This list is listed in descending order, from the fish that are very polluted and should be avoided and those that can be eaten in moderation (from number 8 starting with salmon).  These fish can be contaminated with PCB, Mercury and Pesticides. 

1/ Shark

Other than the fact that sharks ingest a lot of human rubbish, sharks are also an animal to protect.  Don’t eat shark as it won’t be great on your palette or good for the environment.

2/ Marlin

Studies have revealed that marlin as well as tuna and swordfish have endocrine disruptors in their flesh.  This harmful substance is known for not being good for your health.  It can lead to diabetes, neurological troubles, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

3/ Swordfish

Like Marlin, this fish contains endocrine disruptors.  It is also being over fished which is not good for the continued survival of this fish.  For that alone, it is a good idea to stop buying swordfish to eat for dinner.

4/ Lamprey

Lamprey is another fish to avoid as it is unfortunately not immune to lead, cadmium and mercury.

5/ Pike

Pike is very sensitive to human pollution.  In fact bigger fish or those that are predators like sharks have a greater risk of mercury concentrations.

Most polluted fish
Credit: Encelade Media Group