Is Sea Bass Farmed In Turkey Safe To Eat?

Nearly all sea bass consumed outside of the EU is produced in Turkey, which is ranked top in sea bass farming in Europe. The proportion of Turkish sea bass in the fish consumed by Europeans has dramatically increased, making it crucial to analyze any potential health hazards brought on by trace metals in Turkish sea bass. The largest market for Turkish sea bass is the Netherlands. Therefore, potential health hazards for Turkish and Dutch consumers were identified. Lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) concentrations in the research were below the limits, while the level of cadmium (Cd) was above the recommendations in the spring and winter. The Dutch consumer’s diet and potential health risks were found to be higher, but all target hazard quotients (THQs) and total hazard quotients (TTHQ) values were well below 1, indicating that there was no appreciable health risk associated with the consumption of sea bass, which was raised and exported by Turkey. It was found that these sea basses can be eaten in pretty big quantities without harm, like at least 31 meals each month. The selenium health benefit values (Se-HBVs) were all positive and the selenium/Hg molar ratios were all above 1, showing that selenium (Se) had a preventive impact against Hg toxicity as well as beneficial health benefits. The consumption of sea bass raised in Turkey is safe when compared to the average annual intake in the Netherlands and Turkey. Determining the public health effects of the global fish trade is crucial since the risk levels of communities may vary depending on their dietary habits.

Fish aquaculture is growing.

Over the past three decades, the amount of fish consumed by humans has increased by 8.6% annually, to about half the total amount produced. From 13.4% in 1990 to 46.8% in 2016, aquaculture production as a percentage of all seafood production, including capture fisheries, rose.

With billions spent on fish, Europe and the US are the top importers of seafood products. Afro-Asian nations are the primary providers.

Once upon a time, fish farms were touted as an answer to overfishing. However, shrimp and salmon farms in Asia and Latin America have already resulted in issues with the environment, society, and politics.

Turkey’s production of farmed fish in the eastern Mediterranean doubled between 2000 and 2016. This is shipped to the EU in its entirety to satisfy middle-class urban demand.

The farmed fish also require food, and salmon, sea bream, and bass primarily consume smaller wild fish.

Fishing firms are relocating to West African waters, particularly Mauritania, in search of these supplies, where they catch small fish to be processed into fish meal and fish oil, and ultimately fish feed, in factories.

The intensive breeding of carnivorous fish species consequently adds to strain rather than alleviating it as fish supplies are being depleted. The major objective of seafood businesses is typically profit preservation rather than solving social or environmental problems. Marine resources are being turned into commodities by fish farms so they can be bought and sold.

Lessons learned from the Young Turks: How Turkey become a global leader in aquaculture

The ninth-largest producer of marine finfish worldwide, Turkey has emerged as a global aquaculture pioneer, according to a new book. From its example, other nations, especially those in Europe, may learn a lot.

Turkey is a transcontinental country that borders both southeastern Europe and western Asia. Its 8,333 kilometers of coastline, which include access to four fruitful seas, along with the abundance of inland rivers and lakes, make it an excellent location for aquaculture.

Trout were raised in rivers until the 1980s, when commercial aquaculture began. Operations grew during the subsequent decades to include wooden cage cultivation near the shore and in reservoirs. Since then, production has grown 100-fold, from 3,075 tonnes in 1986 to 373,400 tonnes in 2019, with 68.8% of that production occurring at sea, making the nation the ninth-highest producer of marine finfish. The country’s fastest-growing industry for food production is aquaculture, which now accounts for 44.6% of its seafood production, up from just 9% 20 years ago. Turkey, in addition to Norway, is the important factor boosting aquaculture production in Europe.

The book Marine Aquaculture in Turkey: Advancements and Management was just released by the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV). It covers every facet of mariculture, including legislation, planning and management, updates on species, difficulties, innovation, and future prospects that are grounded in reality.

We met with Prof. Bayram Ozturk, the organization’s founder, who established the foundation to safeguard Turkey’s coastal resources while working at Istanbul University. He did this by creating marine protected zones and carrying out research and educational initiatives.

“By outlining where we are and what we can do better, we released the book to raise awareness of aquaculture as one of the most crucial areas for the blue economy and blue growth. TUDAV also wants to support the Ocean Decade Framework, UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, and life underwater “He claims.

Turkey currently has 434 active marine aquaculture facilities, primarily producing European seabass and gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) (Dicentrarchus labrax). Due to technical advancements and increased understanding of biological requirements, the production of seabream and seabass has increased significantly during the last 20 years. At the moment, Turkey is the largest producer of this species, meeting 40% of the world’s demand.

Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta labrax, two species of trout, are primarily cultivated inland, but the government is also encouraging trout farming in the Black Sea. 9,700 tonnes of marine trout, often known as Black Sea trout, are produced annually. Meagre (Agryrosomus regius), Shi-drum (Umbrina cirrosa), pink dentex (Dentex gibbosus), and blue spotted seabream are some more species that are raised in captivity (Pagrus caeruleostictus). With a 6,340-tonne annual production capacity, the nation also fattens wild-caught Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus). Twenty hatcheries, 23 feed mills, and over 200 seafood processing facilities all contribute to the industry’s continued expansion.

sustainably raising seabream and eating it

At ASC, we believe that consumers should be aware of the processes used to create the seafood they purchase, but we also believe that it’s excellent to learn more about the fish we eat in general. These sections will inform you not only about the various ASC criteria but also about the species they apply to, including where they may be found in the wild, their characteristics, how they are raised, and of course, some preparation advice.

We begin with seabream, which was certified for the first time against ASC requirements together with seabass and meagre last year when two farms in Greece and Turkey concurrently attained certification. Since then, a lot more farms have obtained certification, and the number of stores carrying seabream with the ASC label is growing. What knowledge do you have of this fish, though?

Sea bass is devoid of gluten.

Yes, sea bass is free of gluten. When unseasoned and without a coating, sea bass doesn’t contain gluten. Since sea bass is a species of fish, it is naturally gluten-free.

You might have a gluten sensitivity, even though celiac disease might not be as common as many marketing trends would have us assume.

Similar symptoms of both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity include:

  • recurrent stomach ache
  • persistent diarrhea
  • constipation
  • tingling
  • tingling in the hands and feet
  • persistent tiredness
  • joints hurt
  • Unaccounted-for infertility
  • low bone mass (osteopenia or osteoporosis)

There are numerous illnesses that might cause the symptoms listed above, thus there are hundreds of possible symptoms.

In what manner is sea bass raised in Turkey?

Although the grow-out occurs offshore in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, hatcheries are land-based. The most prevalent types of marine finfish farming are cage farms. In marine sea bass and sea bream farming, polyethylene offshore cages with diameters ranging from 20 to 50 m are employed.

Is it safe to eat Mediterranean sea bass?

During pregnancy, you can consume cooked sea bass up to three times each week. Sea bass, especially particularly Chilean sea bass, should be handled like an oily fish even if it isn’t technically an oily fish (source: Food Standards Agency’s Committee on Toxicity).

Although sea bass is regarded as a white fish, it shouldn’t be eaten too frequently because it could have pollution levels comparable to those of oily fish (source: NHS). Pregnant women are advised by the FDA not to consume sea bass more frequently than three times a week.

There are hundreds of different species of sea bass, but in this post we’ll focus on the most popular ones.

The Patagonian toothfish and Chilean sea bass are both variations of cod. Only consume Chilean sea bass once a week at most when pregnant because it has the highest mercury content of any sea bass seafood (source: FDA). Even though fish raised in farms often has a bit less mercury, it still contains some (source: Scientific American).

European sea bass, also known as Mediterranean seabass, loup de mer, or branzino, is a fish that lives in the waters off of Europe and North Africa. In comparison to Chilean sea bass, European sea bass has a lower mercury concentration overall (source: Sea Food Source).

Black sea bass, which has a lot less mercury than Chilean sea bass, is regarded as safe to consume two to three times weekly while pregnant (source: FDA).

Although striped sea bass can be found in lakes and rivers around the US east coast, a significant number of striped sea bass are actually grown in fish farms. Pregnant women can consume this species of fish up to three times per week because it has a mercury content that is comparable to that of black sea bass and European sea bass.

Pregnant women should prepare all fish to a temperature of 145F/63C before eating it. Even though once cooked, fish typically “flakes,” if in question, check the temperature with a thermometer before eating (source: USDA). Here you can see the thermometers that we advise using for cooking.

Is sea bass from farms healthy?

Phosphorus, a mineral important for healthy bone and tooth development, is abundant in farmed sea bass. The mineral facilitates the conversion of food into energy by promoting the metabolism of fats and glucose. Additionally, phosphorus can improve memory and help several group B vitamins work more effectively. Additionally, calcium, a mineral necessary for healthy bone and tooth development, is present in fish. Additionally, farmed sea bass has vitamins A and C, which are helpful for the immune system and your eyesight, respectively.

It goes without saying that persons with fish intolerance should avoid eating farmed sea bass.

In Turkey, what is sea bass?

A species of fish called seabass is found in the shallower parts of warm, tropical oceans. Your family will love this Turkish dish, which is enhanced with green chilies, tomatoes, mushrooms, bay leaves, and nutmeg.

Can you farm sea bass?

The species is a “great fish to be farmed, a very sturdy and gentle fish to be domesticated and handled in tanks,” according to Alberto Reyes, general manager of Seabass Chile. Living at depths of more than 1,000 to 1,500 meters, these fish are carnivorous.

Does Mediterranean sea bass come from farms?

One of the first fish species to be raised commercially in Europe was sea bass, which is currently regarded as the most significant fish raised commercially in the Mediterranean. Before mass-production procedures were created beginning in the late 1960s, they were traditionally farmed in coastal lagoons and tidal reservoirs using juveniles that were wild collected.

Turkey and Greece are the two most significant producers, followed by Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Egypt. Seabass is cultivated extensively in these countries, primarily in net pens in coastal seas.

The industry currently mostly uses juveniles raised in hatcheries instead of the small-scale, lagoon-based farming methods that were once used to raise seabass.

From roughly 60,000 tonnes in 2003 to 235,537 tonnes in 2018, when it was valued at US$1.16 billion, seabass production worldwide expanded steadily. Together, Turkey and Greece account for over 69% of global manufacturing.

How healthy is European sea bass?

The European sea bass is a lean fish that is suggested for people who consume less calories. It is easily digestible, high in protein, and contains folate, which is why eating it is also advised during pregnancy. In fact, folic acid can lower the risk of developing birth defects in children by up to 70%. The sea bass includes omega 3 fatty acids, which can aid in controlling blood pressure and lipids. In addition, the high potassium content helps to prevent hypertension. Phosphorus, which supports memory and the healthy growth of bones and teeth, is another mineral that is abundant in bass. Last but not least, regular consumption of this dish can lower prostate cancer mortality by up to 50% and cancer mortality by up to 64%, according a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Naturally, it is not advised for persons who are fish intolerant to consume sea bass.