The amount of fish and other marine animals we eat is no longer sustainable. We are consuming more fish than the oceans can produce, with 70-90% of fish populations being overfished. This should be reason enough to reduce or stop consumption if your livelihood doesn’t depend on fishing. 

Moreover, the fish we eat is often not so healthy as we think. Many carnivourous fish high in the food chain, commonly on our menu, contain heavy metals such as PCBs, which can cause cancer. Consuming more than two fatty fish per week can exceed the accepted toxicological limits of these substances. Fish oil makes no difference (note: to make 1 litre fish oil, 20 kg fish is needed).

An important reason why fish is considered healthy is because it contains essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. However, fish don’t produce these acids themselves but obtain them from the algae they consume. These algae are available in eco-supermarkets or online e.g Amanprana (Noble House). And there are plenty of other healthy foods containing Omega-3 and Omega-6.

Are there sustainable alternatives in the fish market? Not really, read Overfishing and destructive fishing techniques. If you choose to eat fish, fish guides for your area can help select more ecologically and sustainably caught fish. However, note that these guides are a snapshot, as the scarcity of species can change rapidly over time due to continuous threats to most fish stocks.

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