I tend to do a good amount of fishing, so I've been trying to figure out the Omega-3/EPA and DHA levels for freshwater fish. Outside of Salmon (difficult to get in the Midwest), Walleye and Perch are my favorite fish to eat. I was somewhat shocked to find that most freshwater fish that I catch (Walleye, Northern Pike) apparently have low levels of Omega-3s:
According to: http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/fisheries/fish_oil
The amount of N-3 oils varies in different types of fish. It is commonly believed that only salt water fish contain significant levels of N-3 fatty acid. This is not true. Freshwater fish from cold northern waters, including Lake Superior, can have significant levels as well (Want et al. 1990).
The following are recommended saltwater and freshwater fish with a high N-3 oil content:
albacore black bass bluefish carp channel catfish herring lake herring lake trout mackerel pompano salmon tuna (Water-packed) whitefish
Fish not recommended are those with low levels of N-3 oils. They are:
cod flounder haddock halibut grouper pike shark snapper sole walleye whiting
I've never been a fan of the idea of eating carp (bottom feeders), though I hear it is good smoked. Are any of you aware of a chart that shows the breakdown in EPA/DHA by species?
asked byNed (94)
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on September 08, 2011
at 08:08 PM
I'm not sure about fresh water fish and I know nothing about North American fish in general but here goes anyway.
Among salt water fish most of the oily fish are pelagic and live in the water column such as herring, mackerel and salmon. White fish, such as cod, usually live on or near the seafloor and store all their fat in their liver. I don't think temperature has anything to do with the omega-3 fat content as both oily fish and white fish occur in the same cold North Atlantic waters.
My understanding is that fish do not in fact make long chain fatty acids like DHA/EPA and they have to consume it in their diets. This is why farmed salmon usually contain much less omega-3 fats as they do not eat smaller fish.
The DHA/EPA in fish is originally produced by algae and phytoplankton in the ocean water using the sun for energy. The phytoplankton are eaten by tiny crustations like Krill (this is why Krill is a good source of omega-3 fat). The krill are eaten by smaller fish and the omega-3 fat works its way up the food chain to larger fish like sardines and mackerel. Oily fish from northern waters are probably a good sources of omega-3 fat because of the vast blooms of phytoplankton that occur in cool northern waters and form the base of the food chains.
I could speculate that freshwater fish only contain good amounts of omega-3 fat if the base of their food chain such as algae contains omega-3 fats and that these fats are concentrated up the food chain. I think carp do eat algae maybe that is why they are a good freshwater source.
I don't know of a chart that shows the breakdown in EPA/DHA by species.
Are carp not good to eat? I know carp were farmed in fish ponds all over Europe during Medieval times. The new face of fish suppers? Why carp may return to Britain's tables
on September 08, 2011
at 04:46 PM
Fish that are cold water are higher in omega-3s. This is an adaptation to keep their blood at an appropriate viscosity in colder water.
on March 02, 2013
at 02:14 AM
Thank you! PANGASIUS BOCOURTI have more DHA and EPA? I need References!