For many, a fishing excursion means catching and releasing their prizes. A memorable photo to back up their catch claims is enough. For others, the last prized part of the journey is feasting on the catch. But are there any fish you shouldn’t eat? This is a frequently asked question on fishing charters.
The quick answer is “yes”—among the many varieties of fish you’ll find in the Hawaiian waters and other areas of the world, there are some you should not put on your plate, for a variety of reasons. Which ones are safe, and which ones should be photographed and tossed back into the sea? Here’s an overview to keep your fish-eating habits healthy.
What to Avoid
- Shark: Since sharks are high on the food chain, they have high levels of mercury (from all the other fish they’ve consumed). Mercury is toxic to humans, so this isn’t something you want in your diet. Additionally, sharks don’t have a lot of offspring and are slow to mature, so their population is often severely depleted.
- Swordfish: This predator also contains high levels of mercury. In fact, the levels are so high that the Environmental Defense Fund recommends that women and children avoid it completely.
- Sturgeon: These species are targeted for their eggs, making them critically endangered. To avoid moving sturgeon closer to extinction, remove it from your menu.
- Eel: These have been overfished in many waters of the globe. To protect the species, avoid consuming it. You might not like what you’d be putting in your body anyway—eels easily absorb and store contaminants from the water.
- Atlantic flatfish: These varieties include Atlantic halibut, sole and flounder. They should be avoided due to contamination levels and general overfishing of their populations.
What to Eat
- Wild-caught Alaskan salmon: Salmon offers many health benefits, such as omega-3s and vitamin D that your body needs. Wild-caught varieties of this fish offer these natural nutrients, which boost brain function, improve bone health and optimize skin and eye health.
- Pacific sardines: This is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids you can find. It’s also low in contaminant levels since it is lower on the food chain.
- Atlantic mackerel: This is another great source of omega-3s, which are essential to a healthy diet.
- Albacore tuna: These are low in calories and provide moderate amounts of omega-3s.
- Black cod: You’ll only find these healthy varieties in Alaska and the Canadian Pacific, but they are also a decent source of omega-3s.
What to Ask
Of course, any fishing charter FAQ answer can’t cover every possible scenario. If you ever take a fishing charter and are unsure about your catch, you can always ask the experienced professionals from your charter company about the species and whether or not you should fry it up for dinner.
Get More Answers
Do you have additional questions about fishing charters or what catches are best for dinner? Feel free to contact the experts at Sea Wife Charters. With over 20 years of experience in the fishing business, we are your go-to source for answers. Reach out to our friendly team today!