The Science

Sustainable Seafood


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

Latest Research Updates

Key Seafood & Omega-3 Research Findings

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

Dietary Guidelines recommend eating 6 oz. of seafood per week, 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA per day

USDA/HHS: The 2020-2025 DGA recommends a shift towards healthy eating patterns, which include a variety of protein foods including more seafood. The general population should eat at least 6 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 6 ounces of seafood per week for omega-3 fatty acid DHA to improve infant health outcomes.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Seafood ChoicesThe 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

Fish Consumption for Pregnant Women

Neonatology Today: Pregnant women today are mindful of the importance of prenatal care and prevention, particularly with respect to nutrition. The National Coalition for Infant Health, together with Neonatology Today, released seafood advice for mothers and their babies.

Eat Seafood While Pregnant: All Benefits, No Harm Says Renown Harvard Professor

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dr. Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School concludes the science on benefits and lack of harm from prenatal fish consumption is settled for now, that seafood consumption by pregnant women is in fact beneficial for baby brain development and shows no harm.

Japan Environment and Children’s Study found “maternal fish intake during pregnancy was independently associated with reduced risk of delay in problem-solving at age 6 [months] and in fine motor skills and problem-solving at age 1 [year].” The study also found, as summarized by Oken, “None of the results suggested harm from higher fish consumption.”

Scientific Review Shows Children Can Gain an Average of 7.7 IQ Points

PLEFAA paper published by a group of 13 leading dietary fats scientists highlights the tremendous health benefits from consuming seafood for infant and adolescent brain development. Among the key findings of the systematic review is an average 7.7 IQ point gain in children whose mothers ate seafood during pregnancy compared to mothers who did not eat seafood.

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


National Institute on Aging

 A recent study led by Dr. Christopher Ramsden published in the British Medical Journal found that people who followed a diet high in the omega-3 fats found in fish and shellfish, and low in omega-6 fats found in many processed foods, showed a decreased frequency and severity of headaches. Participants ate foods including wild salmon, albacore tuna, and trout while minimizing sources of omega-6 fats such as corn, soybean, and canola oils. 

Recently approved migraine medications have been shown to produce two to two and a half fewer “headache days” per month, which is less than the four-day reduction caused by the high omega-3, low omega-6 diet. “Four days per month really outperform anything we’ve seen from a pharmacological preventive,” said Dr. Rebecca Burch, a headache medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. (1)

“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.

Seafood is Brain Food

It is important to remember that our daily food choices influence our mental health as much as other self care such as physical activity, connecting with friends and family, and sleep. And the evidence is strong that seafood is brain food.

People who regularly eat fish are 20% less likely than their peers to have depression. Eating 2-3 servings of seafood a week significantly reduces the risk for major depression, which is why the American Psychiatric Association endorse the omega-3 fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment.

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.


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 the 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 a 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 the highest blood level of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids compared to those with the lowest blood level had an 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.

Meet the Members of the Scientific Nutrition Advisory Council

Tom Brenna, PhD

Tom Brenna, PhD


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.

Martin-Paul Agbaga, PhD

Martin-Paul Agbaga, PhD

Advisory Council

Martin-Paul Agbaga, PhD is Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology at the Dean McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. His research area focuses on the role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in maintaining retinal structure, function, and health.

Sonja Connor, MS, RDN, LD

Sonja Connor, MS, RDN, LD


Ms. Sonja Connor, MS, RDN, LD is a research associate professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University. She also has been very involved with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and served as president in 2014-15.

Susan Carlson

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.

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 is president of Fatty Acid Research Institute.

Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD

Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD

Advisory Council

Dr. Joseph R. Hibbeln is a renowned Omega-3 expert and practicing psychiatrist with Barton Health. He is formerly Acting Chief, Nutritional Neurosciences in the Laboratory of Membrane Biophysics & Biochemistry, NIH.

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

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.

Kelly LeBlanc

Kelly LeBlanc, MLA, RD, LDN

Advisory Council

Kelly LeBlanc, MLA, RD, LDN, is the Director of Nutrition at Oldways, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public health by inspiring individuals and organizations to embrace the healthy, sustainable joys of the “old ways” of eating.

Maya Maroto, EdD, MPH, RD

Maya Maroto, EdD, MPH, RD

Advisory Council

Dr. Maya Maroto is a Vice President at FoodMinds and has more than 15 years of experience translating nutrition science and regulations to inform strategic communications outreach and programming.

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. is one of the world’s leading researchers on DHA omega-3 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

Gretchen Vannice, MS, RDN

Advisory Council

Gretchen Vannice is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and is considered a global expert on omega-3s research and education.