Whole fish vs. fish fillet—The risk implications for First Nation subsistence consumers

Claire McAuley, Daniel Smith, Ave Dersch, Bart Koppe, Stacey Mouille-Malbeuf, Darryel Sowan, Fatih Yildiz
2018 Cogent Food & Agriculture  
Consumption advisories associated with mercury concentrations are typically based on consumption of fish fillets; however, many First Nation community members consume more than just the fish fillet because of both preference and availability. Food frequency questionnaires were completed by 106 community members to identify which parts of the fish were typically and preferentially consumed. The results of the questionnaires showed that, depending on the species of fish, between 20% and 100% of
more » ... n 20% and 100% of the respondents ate more than just the fish fillet. Two northern Alberta First Nations harvested 73 piscivorous fish as part of separate studies investigating fish quality. Fillets and whole fish from two species, northern pike (Esox lucius) and walleye (also known as pickerel; Sander vitreus), were analyzed for mercury concentrations. Measured mercury concentrations in whole fish were significantly lower than in fillets (p < 0.05 in all cases). This paper investigates the implications of fish consumption advisories for First Nation communities where many subsistence consumers eat more than just the fish fillet. Consideration of traditional consumption practices may result in a more accurate assessment of exposure for the development of fish consumption guidelines.
doi:10.1080/23311932.2018.1546790 fatcat:qbud6bug3jepboovfdvu5ghex4