Eating Fish

Is seafood safe to eat?

Yes. Properly handled seafood is safe to eat and important for human health.

People who regularly consume diets high in seafood tend to have lower risks of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration and dementia in older adults. for more details see here.

Seafood is an important source of lean protein, vitamins, minerals and the all-important long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids.

How much seafood do I need to eat?

The optimal amount of seafood every individual needs to consume depends on their age, gender and stage of life. You can find more details here

What species are high in Omega-3?

Oily fish are the highset in Omega3 fatty acids with salmon and sardines being at the top of the list. As fish acquire omega-3 from their food, their diet directly influences their Omega-3 content.

Here is a more detailed list of the omega-3 content in different seafood species  

Can I eat seafood if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Yes. Seafood is very important in the development of the foetus and baby’s brain. However, some caution must be taken to avoid large intakes of mercury. You can find more details here

From what age can I feed seafood to my children?

Fish can be included as part of a balanced diet in your baby’s diet from six months of age. For more details on portions and intake visit this link.

Where can I buy seafood?

You can buy seafood at your local supermarket, farmers markets, fish markets and some deli shops.

How do I know if the seafood I am buying is fresh?

There are several things you can look at to determine the freshness of seafood. Generally, seafood that smells fresh, looks glossy, moist and undamaged is a good choice. You can find more details here.

Is fresh seafood better than frozen?

It is a myth that chilled seafood is always of better quality than frozen. Often, fish that was frozen shortly after capture will be of better quality than something that sits in your fridge for a couple of days before you cook it.

More details here http://www.fishfiles.com.au/buying/Pages/fresh_frozen.aspx

Is canned seafood a good option?

Canned seafood is a convenient alternative to fresh or frozen. Its nutritional value is often comparable to that of other seafood. It is important to note however that canned seafood is often not from Australia.

How do I clean/ handle my seafood?

Your fishmonger can clean your fish for you, if you’d like to have a go at home, this resource can help. 

While handling seafood, make sure you keep it clean, moist and separate from other foods. You can find more details about handling seafood correctly here

What’s the safest way of storing seafood at home?

Seafood must be stored cold to ensure its quality and safety. Here you can find detailed information on how to do this correctly.

How do I cook seafood?

Steaming, grilling, baking or frying are just some of the many ways in which you can cook seafood. For detailed instructions and recipe ideas visit this link.

How do I minimise the smell of seafood in my house and on my hands?

In the fridge - Use cling wrap to protect and contain the smell of fresh seafood when you put it in the refrigerator, which should be set close to 4°C.

If possible, place it in a shallow sealed container full of ice and store in the refrigerator, but don’t allow the seafood to soak in water as the ice melts, this will cause the quality of the seafood to deteriorate.

In the houseYou can soak fish in milk for 20 minutes before cooking. The protein in the milk binds with the compounds that cause the fishy odour, extracting them from the fish.

Lemon juice can be squeezed over the fish before cooking. It will neutralize odors and leave the fish with a citrus flavour.

Good ventilation will help. Before cooking, shut any inside doors to keep the smell from spreading through the house, while opening kitchen windows and doors to allow the smell to disperse. Use your ventilation fan if you have one.

Cooking methods can also influence odour. Frying can create a stronger fishy smell than cooking fish in foil or paper in the oven.

While cooking, leave a small bowl or cup full of white vinegar near the stove. It absorbs the odours.

On your hands - Washing your hands in vinegar, lemon juice, hand sanitizer or with toothpaste may help remove the fish smell.

Why does fish smell ‘fishy’?

Fish tissue contains an odourless chemical called trimethylamine oxide. Once fish is killed and exposed to air, this chemical breaks down into derivatives of ammonia and can smell bad. However, fresh, properly handled seafood should have a fresh smell, anything with a strong unpleasant smell may be old.

What can I do with the seafood waste in my home?

You can dispose of fish waste in your general waste garbage bin or use it in the garden, by digging it into the soil. Make sure the waste is dug deeply enough so wildlife and neighbourhood dogs and cats will not be able to dig it back up. Adding seafood waste to the soil can improve plant health, prawn shells for example, can help control nematodes, a type of microscopic roundworm that attacks the roots of plants like roses as well as tomatoes and fruit trees. More details here

Where can I find some quick and easy seafood recipes?

On www.fishfiles.com.au you will find many great seafood recipes and helpful fish information.There are numerous cookbooks focussing specifically on seafood. The web and Pintrest are also full of good recipes.  http://www.fishfiles.com.au/cooking/recipes/Pages/default.aspx

How do I know if the seafood I buy is from a sustainable source?

One of the keys to buying sustainable seafood is knowing where it comes from and how its fishery is managed. All Australian fisheries are managed for sustainability, so buying legally caught local seafood which is in season is a good choice.

For a scientific assessment of Australia’s key wild catch fish stocks visit http://fish.gov.au/

Should I buy species classed as overfished?

Yes. You can buy these species because, in Australia, fisheries managers may allow limited harvest of overfished species at a rate that will rebuild the species numbers and also sustain fishermen, local communities and the many jobs involved in seafood consumption.