04.06.20

Catalonia and responsible consumption of fish and seafood

A guide has been published in Catalonia to encourage people to consume seafood responsibly. The Practical guide to eating fish and seafood provides information on the various species of fish and seafood available daily along the Catalan coast and tells consumers how to buy products with more guarantees and the quality they want. The document also gives tips on how to eat the fruits of the sea, including the health benefits, describes how to see how fresh fish and seafood are, and specifies consumers' rights to labelled products that state the origin and production method of the food they buy. 

High nutritional value

Fish is high in proteins that have a comparable quality to meat but which are easier to digest. Fish fats are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3), which help to regulate blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fish is a good source of iodine and also has iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, D, C and some from group B, as well as mineral salts, which are recommended for good health and are very important for growth.  Regularly eating fish is one of the main features of the Mediterranean diet, and is key in preventing illness and maintaining good quality of life.

Fish classification

The guide classifies fish into two categories. Oily fish contains at least 5% fatty acids (tuna, bonito, sardine, anchovy, swordfish, red mullet and eel, among others). White fish is split into semi-fatty, which contains 2-5% fatty acids (sea bream, sea bass, bream, blue whiting, sargo and trout), and lean fish, which has less than 2% fatty acids (hake, cod, sole and monkfish are the best known varieties). 

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Respecting species

With the slogan 'young fish: don't catch or eat it', the guide recalls the importance of not eating or buying juvenile fish. When fish is caught before it has reached breeding age, there will be less stock the following year. If this happened year after year, stocks in fishing grounds could be completely depleted. The Mediterranean sand eel and the transparent goby are the only small fish that we can buy and eat. The guide also tells you how to quickly and easily check if fish and seafood are fresh, and gives tips on how to best keep it in the fridge. 

Labelling: essential

Last but not least, proper labelling means that products can be identified easily. As explained in the guide, all labels must state: commercial designation, catch area or country of production, production method and presentation. Labels that identify fish caught along the Catalan coast are a guarantee of freshness and quality. 

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