The Science

Sustainable Seafood

Sustainability

Seafood and the Environment

What is SNP’s advice for eating sustainable seafood? Which seafood sustainability guide do you recommend? Learn More

Woman looking at canned tuna in supermarket

Moms & Babies

Seafood During Pregnancy

Dietary Guidelines, FDA and EPA say pregnant women should eat more fish. Tips for eating seafood safely during pregnancy: Learn More

Learn about the large body of scientific evidence and seafood research that support eating seafood at least twice a week.

Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 8 oz. of seafood per week, 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA per day

USDA/HHS: The 2015-2020 DGA recommend a shift towards healthy eating patterns, which include a variety of protein foods including more seafood. The general population should eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week with the aim to take in at least 250 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week for omega-3 fatty acid DHA to improve infant health outcomes.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Seafood ChoicesNew Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Seafood Choices

Eat seafood with confidence. The real risk is not eating enough! 
Here are a few facts about seafood requirements versus mercury risks, what science shows about safe limits, what fish and shellfish you should choose and what to avoid too much of.

Live (Healthier) Longer

Fish literally saves lives. Eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause by 17 percent.

Seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle changes, like adding omega-3s to your diet. Low seafood intake contributes to 55,000 deaths each year, making seafood deficiency a leading dietary contributor to preventable death in the U.S.

Infant Health

Babies from moms who ate seafood twice a week were observed to have greater IQ by 5.8 points

FAO/WHO: A joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the risks and benefits of fish consumption concluded that the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks. The study shows benefits for improved IQ and heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acid DHA supports better outcome for baby brain and eye health

AND: The Omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is critical for the development of the nervous system, especially during the first year of life according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

BRAIN HEALTH

“As calcium is to the bones, DHA is to the brain,” says Dr. Tom Brenna, member of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Seafood provides docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 essential for brain development and function, helping neurons trigger and cells regenerate.

People who eat fish frequently have 14% larger brain hippocampus – the big memory and learning center

UCLA: A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine led by Dr. Cyrus Raji found that people who regularly eat fish have more voluminous brains than those who do not. This study found that eating fish—baked or broiled, never fried—is associated with larger gray matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in healthy elderly people.

“If you have a stronger hippocampus, your risk of Alzheimer’s is going to go down,” said Dr. Raji.
Link to article in Atlantic

Regular fish eaters less likely to suffer from depression

People who regularly eat fish are 20 percent less likely than their peers to have depression. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has endorsed the fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment.

Healthy Aging

Older adults with highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids lived on average 2.2 years longer

HARVARD: A study from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington found that older adults who had the highest blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish lived, on average, 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.

HEART HEALTH

Breaking News from American Heart Association: “Keep saying yes to fish twice a week for heart health”

AHA: A scientific advisory released May 2018 from the American Heart Association reaffirms the Association’s recommendation to eat two servings of fish per week: Seafood Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association. This Advisory summarizes evidence to support the beneficial effects of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs) from seafood on cardiovascular disease and stroke. This summary is consistent with the AHA 2020 impact goals to include seafood as part of the healthy dietary pattern goals and the 2015 AHA Diet and Lifestyle recommendations.

Study shows eating seafood 2x week reduces risk of dying from heart disease by 36%

HARVARD: Drs. Mozaffarian & Rimm found that eating approximately one to two 3 oz. servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans taking almost 600,000 lives each year per the CDC.

Higher blood levels of  omega–3 fatty acids had risk reduction of sudden cardiac death of 80-90%

NEJM: In the Physicians’ Health Study, 22,071 male physicians were followed over 17 years, found that those with highest blood level of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids compared to those with the lowest blood level had a 80-90% risk reduction in sudden cardiac death per New England Journal of Medicine.

Study shows Mediterranean diet health benefits reduce risk of heart disease by 30%

NEJM: A Mediterranean diet that includes seafood at least twice a week reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Heart disease is 80-90% preventable with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications

AHA: Coronary heart disease is 90% preventable with proper diet and exercise per American Heart Association. ​

​WHO: ​Up to 80% of cases of coronary heart disease, 90% of type 2 diabetes cases, and one-third of cancers can be avoided by changing to a healthier diet, increasing physical activity and stopping smoking per World Health Organization.

Why are marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids so vital for our health?

Dr. Michael Crawford provides a compelling overview for why omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA are so critical for human health. Video courtesy of IFFO.

Meet the Members of the Scientific & Nutrition Advisory Council

Tom Brenna, PhD

Tom Brenna, PhD

Director

Dr. Tom Brenna is professor of pediatrics, of chemistry, and of nutrition at the Dell Medical School and the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and recently Professor Emeritus at Cornell University. He has served on numerous international policy groups, including the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Sara Baer-Sinnott

Sara Baer-Sinnott

Advisory Council

Sara Baer-Sinnott is President of Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage.

Susan Carlson, PhD

Susan Carlson, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Susan E. Carlson is the AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She does clinical trials of DHA supplementation in pregnancy and childhood.

Linda Chaves

Linda Chaves

Advisory Council

Linda Chaves is the founder of Chaves Strategies, a consultancy working on seafood and health, international trade, aquaculture, ecolabeling and certification, and industry advocacy. She previously worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

Jose Fernandez, PhD

Jose Fernandez, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. José Fernández is a Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

William Harris, PhD

William Harris, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Harris is an internationally recognized expert on omega-3 fatty acids and how they can benefit patients with heart disease. He has over 190 publications relating to omega-3 fatty acids.

Captain Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD

Captain Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD

Advisory Council

Dr. Joseph Hibbeln is Acting Chief, Section of Nutritional Neurosciences in the Laboratory of Membrane Biophysics & Biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health.

Bruce Holub, PhD

Bruce Holub, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Bruce Holub is University Professor Emeritus, Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. He is the founder of the DHA/EPA Omega-3 Institute.

Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, FAHA, FNLA, FASN, CLS

Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, FAHA, FNLA, FASN, CLS

Advisory Council

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, a world-renowned expert and national leader in food and nutrition, is Distinguished Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University.

Bill Lands, PhD

Bill Lands, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Bill Lands is a renowned Omega-3 expert, was Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois, where he studied the metabolism of fats, phospholipids, and prostaglandins.

Scott Nichols, PhD

Scott Nichols, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Scott Nichols is the founder and principal of Food’s Future, LLC, which works to accelerate aquaculture’s contribution to our future food supply.

Norman Salem, Jr., PhD

Norman Salem, Jr., PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Norman Salem, Jr. serves as corporate scientist at Royal DSM N.V. He is one of the world's leading researchers on DHA and the functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipids.

Michael Tlusty, PhD

Michael Tlusty, PhD

Advisory Council

Dr. Michael Tlusty is Associate Professor of Sustainability and Food Solutions at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Gretchen Vannice, MS, RDN

Gretchen Vannice, MS, RDN

Advisory Council

Gretchen Vannice is a registered dietitian and independent nutrition research and communications consultant. She authored the Omega-3 Handbook: A Ready Reference Guide for Health Professionals.