Fish, sea food, closure period, quality, frequent consumption, healthy
Fresh or salt-water fish for consumption can be fished using a fishing art or any other means.
The quality of the fish is based on its external aspect (scales should be perfect looking), regarding the eyes, the eye globe should not look collapsed, the gills should be reddish and separated in layers. It should be resistant to the touch, the abdominal cavity should be complete and not smell like rotten.
The “extra” category has the best quality criteria in the market for its purchase. To identify it, you should read the product labelling.
What is the best fish to eat? The one fished in the traditional way. Not even ice is used for its preservation until it reaches its first selling point. This is called fresh fish.
Canned fish, like tuna, or frozen like pink cusk-eel can be found. Also smoked and marinated salmon.
Nowadays, it is quite easy to find fish ready to heat or finish to cook or even fast food restaurants serve for example, fish and chips.
Seafood include invertebrate marine animals, edible and with external skeleton.
They form two big groups: crustaceans and mollusks.
Some of the species live adhered to rocks like oysters and mussels. Others, like clams, are fished on the beach shores when the low tide.
They should not be consumed during fishery closure.
Mollusks (clams, mussels, octopus, squid, cuttlefish) can be found in order to be bought alive, refrigerated, frozen, dried, smoked, canned or in ready-made meals.
We must consider the laws that require a minimum size so as to be traded.
Crustaceans like prawns, shrimps, red prawns, Norway lobsters, etc., are usually to be found alive, refrigerated, and frozen, read-made or canned products.
Fish can be found alive, fresh, frozen, canned, as a ready meal or ready to be cooked and heated like octopus in its own ink.
According to the WHO, two out of three Europeans will be overweight in 2030. This represents dangers to our health that could be reduced if they would adopt the healthy habits of the Mediterranean diet.
Eating seasonal fish and seafood is highly beneficial for our health. Seasonal and proximity products or zero km products, set the right time of consumption. Fish and seafood together with all their derived products, are foods with a interesting nutrient profile. They are rich in quality proteins, a source of mineral salts, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine so as different types of vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B12, A, D. Fish has more vitamin A and B. The quantity of carbohydrates is extremely low. Fat content is between 0.1% and 8%. Due to their nutrient characteristics, experts recommend that minimum consumption of fish and mollusks should be 125-150 g, net weight and at least three times a week
Local most representative products available for consumption are:
A) FISH. Cantabrian anchovies, sardines and marinated anchovies from the Sea of Alboran. The tuna fish from the “almadraba”, the traditional way of fishing dating back to the 14th century in the Bay of Cadiz, Spain. Also well-known are codfish. (Portugal), Norwegian salmon, herring, coalfish and salmon from the North Sea, trout from the Black Forest in Germany, sardines and anchovies from the Ionian Sea, beam and bass from the Aegean Sea, eels from the Baltic Poland.
Oysters, scallops (coquilles de Saint Louis) and mussels, France; octopus and clams from Italy, rhine style mussels in Germany, grey shrimps (Purus) from Flanders, oysters from Ostende (Ostendaise), mussels from the North Sea, that are popular all over Belgium. Greece is famous for its squids, as well as the edible crab from Ireland or the oysters from Hillsborough, Clarenbridge or Galway, also in Ireland.
These are the main precautions to be held when eating fish and seafood:
a) Buy fresh fish and seafood to avoid poisoning. Please note the quality and preservation requisites mentioned before.
b) Keep it properly refrigerated in the fridge or freezer.
c) Buy it clean, without scales or fish bones. It is easier to prepare.
d) Be careful with anisakis, a parasite. To get rid of it we should cook the fish during at least two minutes at more than 60º degrees Celsius. This means that the heat should reach the core of the produce. In case we are not going to cook the fish immediately, it is necessary to freeze it during at least five days at minus 20º C.
e) The content of heavy metals and micro plastics due to human action. Although they present a hazard, the health authorities assess and control the risks involved for the consumer establishing fishing closure periods when selling and fishing seafood is banned.