I generally recommend my clients eat seafood once or twice each week. It is an excellent source of protein, omega fatty acids, selenium and iodine. However, it is important to choose your seafood carefully. I avoid farmed fish, imported seafood (with a few exceptions) and minimise consumption of tinned fish.
What seafood to choose:
Tinned salmon and tuna. Only if it states “wild” or “wild caught”. Choose varieties in brine rather than canola oil or vegetable oil.
Oysters and mussels although technically farmed they are grown quite closely to how they grow naturally in the wild. NZ mussels are the highest in nutrients due to the colder clean water.
Australian squid, calamari & cuttlefish are most often wild caught and excellent sources of protein. They are usually a by-catch of another fish. They also reproduce quickly making them a sustainable choice.
Australian wild caught prawns. You will most probably need to become good friends with your fish monger to get access to these. They are seasonal, rare and taste amazing.
Imported wild caught salmon, tuna, halibut, lobster, prawns, scollops, salmon roe and smoked salmon. All have unparalleled omega 3 to 6 ratio which means they are truly anti-inflammatory. Companies like The Canadian Way sell frozen wild caught fish and seafood at various stockists in Australia and they home deliver.
Herring, pilchards, whitebait, sardines and anchovies are all wild caught. They are cheap and very nutritious.
Finally, when buying fresh fish from the market or your fish monger, I recommend you buy a whole fish rather than fillets. This gives you a better indication of freshness. Inspect eyes and moistness of the skin. If the lips and face look even a little dehydrated then opt for something else.
What to avoid:
Ocean trout – all ocean trout sold in Australia is farmed.
Non-tinned salmon – all non-tinned salmon sold in Australia is farmed with the exception of imported 100% wild sockeye salmon (which is sold frozen).
Farmed King prawns and Tiger prawns from Australia or overseas. You will usually have to ask your fish monger for a special order of wild caught prawns.
Fresh tuna is usually wild caught but then kept in floating pens and fed a mixture of pellets and small fish. So it’s equivalent to being farmed.
Most barramundi in Australia is now farmed. All farmed barramundi are harvested when they grow to 40-45 cm. If they are larger than that you can assume they are wild caught.
There is a plethora of other farmed seafood on the market. If you’re not sure, always ask, Where is it from? How is it caught? Is it farmed? By law they must answer you truthfully if you ask them outright.