Pacifical yellowfin tuna contains least pollutants

11 Aug 2017
Yellowfin tuna

Levels of persistent organic pollutants are as much as 36 times higher in the muscle tissue of yellowfin caught in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Image courtesy of Wibowo Djatmiko

Pacifical yellowfin tuna has been found to contain lower levels of pollutants in their muscle tissues than any other yellowfin.

WCPO-caught yellowfin was at the top of 117 tested specimens in research which concluded that the presence of toxic compounds depends on where the tuna is caught.

The study, conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, showed levels of persistent organic pollutants as much as 36 times higher in the muscle tissue of yellowfin caught in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the northeast Atlantic Ocean, in comparison to yellowfin tested from the Western Pacific Ocean.

Researchers tested dorsal, white muscle filets of yellowfin tuna from all four major stocks; in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, covering 12 different capture locations.

‘Geographic Differences in Persistent Organic Pollutant Levels of Yellowfin Tuna’  found that persistent organic pollutants include pesticides, flame retardants and Polychlorinated biphenyls (compounds that had previously been used as coolants in electrical equipment).

Despite their restricted or eliminated use, these pollutants still persist in the environment, and accumulate in organisms including fish and humans, and can affect the body’s defence against foreign substances.