New Study Finds that the Benefits of Eating Fish May Outweigh the Risks
If you need proof that mercury levels in fish have reached harmful levels, there are plenty of resources in other posts and scattered across the web (read "One Boys Experience with Too Much Mercury" written by one of my fellow classmates).
So is the solution to just stop eating seafood all together? A new study has found that although the harmful influence of mercury in a fish-laden diet are real, we still need these lean meats in our diet. Mercury can be extremely dangerous, and the mercury in fish has terrible consequences, but cutting out fish entirely is also not ideal.
Fish and other sea and freshwater creatures are full of omega 3 fatty acids, are generally leaner than other meats and sources of protein (source).
Seafood has been a key part of the human diet for millions of years, and some rural coastal villages depend on seafood as the cornerstone of their diets. It seems, then, that simply giving up on the issue and banning seafood from the human diet is not a viable option.
If you want to find ways to limit the mercury in your diet as much as possible for you or your family, while still enjoying fish and all of their important benefits, there are options. It is possible to get all of the omega 3 fatty acids we need from vegetarian sources such as flax seed, and certain types of fish and seafood contain lower levels of mercury than others. For example, catfish are relatively safe, while canned albacore tuna should only be eaten in moderation (source).
Of course, for people who rely on fish containing high levels of mercury in their diets, such as rural villagers in fishing villages in Japan, the only solution is to fish the problem at its roots and stop the contamination of our food sources.