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New Publication Examines the Benefits and Risks of Eating Seafood

By Rebecca Zeiber, NH Sea Grant
July 9, 2008

Fish is an essential part of a healthy diet, but there are many challenges in getting that message out to the public. NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension have partnered to produce a report examining the benefits of seafood consumption as well as the potential health risks involved.

The report is based on a conference held last November in Concord titled “Seafood – Balancing the Benefits and Risks.” The conference included presentations on seafood safety given by researchers in the nutrition and health fields from the Harvard School of Public Health, Tufts-New England Medical Center, the University of Rhode Island and other institutions.

The report includes a synopsis of each presentation and the panel discussion from the conference. Topics include the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, shellfish pathogens, risk communication, consumer perceptions, aquaculture and media reports on seafood consumption, as well as PCB and mercury content. The guide is designed to clarify the health issues involved with seafood consumption for the general public as well as sensitive populations such as children and pregnant women.

The speakers who participated in the conference had one dominant message: Eat fish. Their studies show that the health benefits far exceed the risks, and that seafood is an essential part of a healthy diet for the general public and sensitive populations alike.

Print copies are available from NH Sea Grant for $15 each. A downloadable PDF version is also available at http://www.seagrant.unh.edu/newsseafoodreport.html. For more information or to place an order, contact NH Sea Grant communications coordinator Steve Adams, 603-749-1565 or steve.adams@unh.edu).

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