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I'm not quite sure what type of tuna I eat. I'm pretty sure it's one of the canned ones from the grocery store. I have a question though - what's the best way to purchase tuna - fresh over the counter? Is there a healthy canned alternative? Do I have to worry about mercury content in tuna or any other type of fish?
We don't have to worry about mercury in most fish - incl tuna per the Seychelles Child Development study. Even pregnant and breastfeeding women and small children need not be concerned about tuna and mercury.....but we do have to worry about fishing practices, bycatch etc.
I'm not sure what the best answer is right now. the Monterey Bay Aquarium is hard to follow b/c can labels don't match up.
best bet though it to find a small producer that uses exclusively troll caught or pole caught and never line/long-line....or g-d forbid purse seine (which is a problem with other fish...not usually tuna).
If you see a low fat content .5-1mg per serving (as in grocery brands), you know it's old tuna that lives at deep levels and is line caught;/. So basically anything cheap is a problem for long term sustainability and endangered species.
I was researching the trader joe's issues yesterday. They have many. It appears that they are purposefully mislabeling seafood to give the impression that they aren't selling any greenpeace redlisted items when in fact they are selling many (and many that are on monterey bay aquariums 'avoid' list)
I think all of the information is in the links I posted but the bottom line: young tuna have a high fat content - young tuna are troll or pole caught. old tuna has the same total body fat but it's spread out throughout a much larger fish so per serving, it has a dramatically lower fat content. the old, deeper swimming fish are caught via long line.
here's one of the literally thousands of articles available on the subject - it's not unbiased but it's the first one up. you can easily find more scholarly articles on it without having to dig deep: http://www.wfoa-tuna.org/health/
"How to tell the difference between longline albacore and surface troll-caught albacore:
The two images below are labels from the same brand of tuna -- but the first one is longline-caught and the other is troll-caught albacore. Note the Total Fat (Grams), 1.0g as opposed to 5.0g.
Though slightly higher in fat, the troll-caught albacore is much higher in Omega-3's. "
Avoid Tongol/Big eye/Yellowfin
Due to bycatch issues. Wildcaught Malaysian Tongol is acceptable as an alternative to the above, but there's really no way to know it's really malaysian and wildcaught - most isn't wildcaught from malaysia but longline caught or purse seine/gillnet caught.
A staple of the tuna canning industry, yellowfin tuna are sought by purse seine and longlining fleets worldwide. Purse seines catch tons of unwanted fish and other animals, called bycatch. Longlines kill a large number of endangered sea turtles every year.
When buying yellowfin tuna, ask for U.S. troll-caught, pole-caught or handline-caught; these are environmentally friendly fishing techniques. Visit the Seafood Watch section on our web site to learn more about choosing seafood wisely.
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/c...et.aspx?fid=60 Bluefin Tuna
All populations of bluefin tuna are being caught faster than they can reproduce. Bluefin is being further depleted by ranching operations that collect small bluefin and raise them to full size to sell primarily to the sushi market.
Bluefin is caught with a variety of gear, including purse seines and longlines. Longlines are most common and result in large bycatch, including threatened or endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds. Since there are no international laws to reduce bycatch, these longline fleets are contributing heavily to the long-term decline of some of these species.