Fish again

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Barefootgirl
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Fish again

Post by Barefootgirl »

I try to have a couple servings of fish each week for variety and health reasons. I don't eat farmed fish (reasons too detailed to go into).

Mostly frozen wild salmon filets. I miss the swordfish that has basically disappeared from many restaurant menus in less then 25 years.

I like sushi, mostly tuna, but I understand we need to watch out for mercury, so I decided to go lower on the fish food chain. Found some white anchovies (bouqerones) not like regular anchovies at all (they taste like chicken!) - but apparently el nino/la nina has ruined this season's crop....

This led me down the chain to sardines - they don't make sardines like when I was a kid - some of these actually taste good and don't have a strong smell.

Then I read that because humans are eating lower on the fish food chain, we're depleting stocks of small fish and larger fish are going hungry and dying out.

What to do? find our omega 3s in chia seeds?

I am going to start feeding more fish to the kids in the family - not just for health reasons, but so they can taste it now before it's gone.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
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William4u
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Re: Fish again

Post by William4u »

My understanding is that there is an abundance of sardines because the fish that eat them (larger fish, obviously) are being overfished. Sardines are also some of the most nutritious fish (high in omega 3 etc.), and they live a short life and thus are very low in contaminants like mercury.
Stonebr
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Re: Fish again

Post by Stonebr »

Barefootgirl wrote:
What to do? find our omega 3s in chia seeds?
Fish don't manufacture Omega-3s themselves, the get it from algae they eat in the wild. That's why farmed fish are so much lower in omega-3. You can take a pill and bypass the fish. Health food stores have DHA and EPA pills sourced from algae. Or you can do flax or chia.
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear
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dm200
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Re: Fish again

Post by dm200 »

I stopped eating fish, and do not take fish oil (reports say it does not work). I eat, among other things, ground flaxseed.
Teague
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Re: Fish again

Post by Teague »

Barefootgirl wrote: Then I read that because humans are eating lower on the fish food chain, we're depleting stocks of small fish and larger fish are going hungry and dying out.
I'm curious where you read this, because to me it does not seem to make much sense from a biological perspective. But then again, it's been a long time since my undergraduate years where I learned about this kind of stuff, so I could be wrong.
Semper Augustus
Stonebr
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Re: Fish again

Post by Stonebr »

Teague wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote: Then I read that because humans are eating lower on the fish food chain, we're depleting stocks of small fish and larger fish are going hungry and dying out.
I'm curious where you read this, because to me it does not seem to make much sense from a biological perspective. But then again, it's been a long time since my undergraduate years where I learned about this kind of stuff, so I could be wrong.
National Geographic, for example...

http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/oce ... erfishing/
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear
soboggled
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Re: Fish again

Post by soboggled »

It's pretty complicated/confusing.
FDA and others such as consumerlab.com have specific advice on fish consumption, including for kids.
I don't trust supplements that have not been approved by the FDA, though flax seed seeds worth considering I doubt them as a full substitute for fish. As they contain estrogen, not for pregnant women.
I try to stick to sardines and wild Alaskan salmon. Also shellfish (crab, clams, oysters, shrimp) and rainbow trout, low in mercury but also low in omegas. Nothing from China if I can help it. Never the bigger fish: Mackerel, marlin, roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, most tuna.
Topic Author
Barefootgirl
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Re: Fish again

Post by Barefootgirl »

In what I've seen in just one generation, it is not inconceivable to me that the time will come in the not distant future, that seafood will either be unavailable or unfit for human consumption.

Hence, trying to get while the getting is still ok. Taste and health benefits...

so yes, I am on the sardines and wild salmon only wagon - but if most of us are, how long will that last? not sustainable.
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
MI_bogle
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Re: Fish again

Post by MI_bogle »

Barefootgirl wrote:I try to have a couple servings of fish each week for variety and health reasons. I don't eat farmed fish (reasons too detailed to go into).


Then I read that because humans are eating lower on the fish food chain, we're depleting stocks of small fish and larger fish are going hungry and dying out.
Welll... actually you have that backwards. We have overfished the large fish, both through "growth overfishing" and "recruitment overfishing", which has led to collapse or near-collapse of many marine fish stocks, in size and in numbers. And now we are turning to prey fish like sardines and anchovies. Part because of the lack of apex predators, but also because that if done right, fishing and eating lower on the food chain is better.

It is BETTER to eat lower on the food chain, as fishing down apex predators is generally very destabilizing to the ecosystem. And small prey fish bioaccumulate far less mercury, PCBs, etc. So better for your health.


In terms of sustainability, properly regulated fisheries for fish low on the trophic level are great. So are responsibly farmed fish. Although there are many issues with farming of fish, if properly done it is better than many wild fisheries, which are extremely poorly regulated in many if not most areas of the oceans.

In general, tips for environmental sustainable fisheries are eat low on the food web, only from well-regulated wild fisheries or from well regulated farming operations
Teague
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Re: Fish again

Post by Teague »

Stonebr wrote:
Teague wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote: Then I read that because humans are eating lower on the fish food chain, we're depleting stocks of small fish and larger fish are going hungry and dying out.
I'm curious where you read this, because to me it does not seem to make much sense from a biological perspective. But then again, it's been a long time since my undergraduate years where I learned about this kind of stuff, so I could be wrong.
National Geographic, for example...

http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/oce ... erfishing/
What that article says is that because the larger fish have been depleted, we are now going after the smaller fish. And that we are over-fishing in general. That all makes sense to me. It does not say that the larger fish are going hungry because we are targeting the smaller fish, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. (though it does make a vague reference to " upsetting the ancient and delicate balance of the sea's biologic system" but it does not make any attempt to define what that is supposed to mean.)

The end result is not good in either case of course, but it was the proposed mechanism I had issues with, and that article does not say anything about tuna standing on street corners holding "please feed me" signs. I think things would be better if we severely limit the harvest of the larger species, and harvest relatively more of the smaller species, and generally limit fishing in a reasonable fashion. But again, I could be wrong.
Semper Augustus
Topic Author
Barefootgirl
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Re: Fish again

Post by Barefootgirl »

I'll concede that it's tongue in cheek sarcsam to suggest that bigger fish are hungry.

Nevertheless, if you search "forage fish depletion" - you will find numerous articles/studies on the topic.

So that begs the question of what happens to the bigger fish up the chain, when their food supply - the forage fish, become depleted?

Same end result, no? doesn't any break in a food chain have a ripple effect?
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.
btenny
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Re: Fish again

Post by btenny »

My wife and I buy sole for everyday meals and halibut for special occasions at the local grocery store. We also buy some tilapia to keep in the freezer. My wife only likes white fish with minimum fish smell and taste so we have to be careful cooking it to minimize these issues. These fish meet her goals.

Good Luck.
jdb
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Re: Fish again

Post by jdb »

I think we need to upgrade this thread with some great fish recipes for us fish lovers. My contribution: Whisky marinated salmon grilled on a cedar plank. Marinate in whisky (I prefer Canadian Club, best use for that stuff), molasses and olive oil for hour, let dry out in frig for 30 minutes or so, put dollop of honey on fillet (from local farmers market of course) then grill over charcoal on cedar plank, I use Big Green Egg for that purpose. Great reviews from all my customers a/k/a family and friends.
PoppyA
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Re: Fish again

Post by PoppyA »

Analysis paralysis. Stress less about what you eat, eat whole foodstuff, eat moderately.

My recipe: salmon basted with pepper jelly, baked.
mhalley
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Re: Fish again

Post by mhalley »

Saw these guys on shark tank who came up with a way to check for mercury levels in fish. They also are selling low mercury tuna, which is supposedly 10x lower than the fda limit. No personal experience.
https://safecatch.com/buy-safe-catch-tuna/
MI_bogle
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Re: Fish again

Post by MI_bogle »

Barefootgirl wrote:I'll concede that it's tongue in cheek sarcsam to suggest that bigger fish are hungry.

Nevertheless, if you search "forage fish depletion" - you will find numerous articles/studies on the topic.

So that begs the question of what happens to the bigger fish up the chain, when their food supply - the forage fish, become depleted?

Same end result, no? doesn't any break in a food chain have a ripple effect?
One of the big reasons why eating low on the food chain is good is due to the energy loss that occurs as trophic level increases

A rule of thumb is that 90% of energy is lost for each trophic level you increase. So it would take 10 pounds of sardines to produce 1 pound of tuna (grossly oversimplified)

By eating a pound of tuna, we are being far more disruptive to the ecosystem because we are removing a ton of energy, whereas if we are eating a pound of sardines, we are being more efficient in human consumption of energy produced by the ocean

But yes, if you are depleting ANYthing in the ocean via overfishing, that is a bad thing. If you are worried about overfishing, don't eat wild-caught fish (or farmed fish that are being fed wild forage!)
bbees
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Re: Fish again

Post by bbees »

Try freshwater fish, american catfish or take the family fishing, even if you don't catch or eat the fish you catch you will be outside, exercise a little, talk to the kids and maybe find it an enjoyable way to love life.
jimcrawford01
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Re: Fish again

Post by jimcrawford01 »

I am a believer in the health value of Omega-3. I much prefer to get the Omega-3 from a plant source such as Flaxseed. I wish to avoid the fish issues. So, I simply take a daily supplement.
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