Many consumed fish taken from UK inland waterways contain toxic chemicals above safe limits

Perch and roach from British rivers can be toxic, say experts

UK-perch image
Perch and roach from British rivers can be toxic, say experts. Image by James Denholm-Price.

A government-funded study suggested that many fish from rivers and canals are ending up on our dining tables are contaminated with toxic chemicals above safe limits.

Fish can bioaccumulate environmental contaminants and so can contribute a significant amount to dietary exposure to those chemicals.

Mike Berthet, director of fish and seafood at M&J Seafood, voiced his concerns at the growing tendency of angling for personal consumption. “The inland water in the UK is notoriously polluted,” he said. “Anyone not buying fish from registered companies or markets with requisite quality control is always going to be at risk.”

Sources and more information

  • Contamination of fish in UK fresh water systems: Risk assessment for human consumption, sciencedirect, 19 December 2014.
  • Chemicals in freshwater fish put health at risk, independent, 11 January 2015.

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