Marine Myths: common misconceptions about seafood

Tales of sea creatures and island adventures consume much of our childhood fairytale favourites, from meeting Ariel and her family in The Little Mermaid, to discovering the lost city of Atlantis.

But many of the commonly-held myths about seafood and sea creatures which we’ve grown up with are just as much a fairytale with little truth to them when you look a little deeper.


Myth: Sustainable seafood is more expensive

This isn’t necessarily true. All fish vary in price but you can usually get budget-friendly, sustainable fish without paying a premium. Companies who supply sustainable fish often try to keep their prices at a similar level to their competitors to make high-quality seafood as accessible as possible. Plymouth Fisheries is one of many fisheries in the UK that sources and sells sustainable seafood and supply to numerous shops and restaurants in and around Sutton Harbour, as well as to fish merchants – with some based on site – so pay them a visit and discover many sustainable fish you can buy which won’t break the bank.

Myth: Pregnant women shouldn’t eat fish

It’s often advised that women who are pregnant or nursing should not eat certain kinds of fish due to mercury levels, however they don’t have to cut out seafood all together. As long as they’re aware of what and how much they’re eating, mothers-to-be can safely eat fish with low levels of mercury, such as trout, salmon and some canned tuna. It’s best to check with a health care professional for more in-depth information.

Myth: You shouldn’t eat fish on a Monday

This is derived from an old wives tale advising people that fish consumed on a Monday is bad for you. This myth developed from instances of older fish being sold in shops and restaurants if they didn’t receive their weekend delivery. Now it is easier to check the age and quality of the fish we buy thanks to use by and best before dates so this one can be confined safely to the myth bucket.

Myth: Fish have five second memories

The number of seconds seems to fluctuate depending on the fish in question, but generally speaking, a fish’s memory last longer than five seconds. Most fish remember which baits have previously hooked them and one study even showed that fish can have a memory of up to five months.

Myth: Seafood is difficult to cook

Some people don’t bother buying seafood because they’re under the illusion that it’s harder and more time consuming to cook. This isn’t true. Fish is actually easier to cook than many of our usual, everyday meats and it’s quicker too, so you have to be careful not to overcook it actually. There are some easy-to-cook guides on the Plymouth Fisheries website, outlining step by step instructions on seafood dishes.

Myth: You shouldn’t have seafood and dairy

It’s been a long standing myth that consuming seafood and milk at the same time will make you ill, however there is no scientific evidence to prove this. Many seafood recipes actually include dairy, such as a cream base for a fish pie. Some people don’t eat seafood and dairy together for religious reasons but the theory that it makes you unwell isn’t true.

Myth: Fish has a strong smell

It’s a common idea that seafood has a very ‘fishy’ smell, but if the fish is sourced properly then the smell and taste should be mild for fresh and frozen fish. Almost immediately after a fish has been removed from water it begins to spoil. The correct freezing and storage process can stop the spoilage of fish. If the freezing process procedure isn’t followed to preserve freshness, then the fish will start to quickly decompose which emits the odour often associated to all seafood. Smell isn’t the only indicator that a fish might not be fresh, so it’s important to know what you’re buying.


For expert advice on all things fishy, contact or visit Plymouth Fisheries.