Mercury in fish: your questions answered
Wednesday 24 March 2004
Find out more about our latest advice about mercury in fish.
You should not eat shark, marlin or swordfish and you may need to limit how much tuna you eat. Everyday favourites such as cod, haddock and plaice are not affected at all by this advice. And there are other oily fish with known health benefits that you can eat as an alternative to fresh tuna, such as mackerel, herring, pilchard, sardine, trout or salmon.
Yes. And most of us don’t eat enough of it. The Agency recommends that people eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Oily fish provide known health benefits – for example, it contains nutrients that protect against heart disease. Although fresh tuna is an oily fish, during the canning process these fats are reduced, so canned tuna does not count as oily fish.
The Agency has updated its advice in the light of a new opinion from the independent Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. The COT revised its opinion following updated guidelines on mercury from the World Health Organization.