How safe is your tuna? It’s important to know where it was caught

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Tuna caught in industrialized areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have 36 times more pollutants than those fished in remote parts of the West Pacific, scientists from Scripps Oceanography found.

The researchers tracked concentrations of toxins in tuna around the world and found that the location of fish, as much as its species, can affect how safe it is to eat.

“The pollutant levels in seafood and tuna in our case, can be heavily determined by the location where it was caught,” said lead author Sascha Nicklisch, a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. “It is important to know the origin of catch of the fish, to know the amount of pollutants in your fish.”

They hope the study will help advance understanding of how toxins enter our food supply through seafood, and how to manage fisheries to reduce that risk.


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