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Study: Health Benefits of Baltic Fish Outweigh Hazards

The health benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks posed by toxins in the fish, say researchers of the Baltic Sea Protection Programme. The results of the study are expected to lead to a waiver of EU limits on catching and eating fish from the Baltic Sea.

An EU directive had threatened to ban consumption of large-sized Baltic herring, as well as salmon caught in the Baltic.

In spite of fairly high levels of toxins in the fish, experts see fish as an important part of the Finnish diet. Their recommendation is that Finns eat a wider variety of fish. The recommendation is to decrease consumption of fatty sea fish, and to include more lake fish and farmed fish.

The researchers nevertheless recommend limiting consumption of large Baltic herring measuring 17 centimetres or more, as well as salmon caught in the Baltic Sea, to about twice a month.

Authors of the study point out that total accumulation of toxic compounds in Finland is at the average European level. In other parts of Europe, levels of PCB and dioxin compounds in foods other than fish are higher than in Finland.

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