Survey reveals most adults in the region don’t eat enough fish

Market traders in Norwich weren't surprised that people are eating less fish. Photo: Laura Baxter

Market traders in Norwich weren't surprised that people are eating less fish. Photo: Laura Baxter - Credit: Laura Baxter

Are you feeling fishy? A survey has revealed that adults in the East of England are not eating a healthy amount of fish and seafood.

The survey, by Seafish, says that 76pc of adults in the region are not eating the recommended quota each week. This is despite 77pc being worried about their health, and rising levels of heart disease and Alzheimer's in the region.

The NHS recommends people eat two portions of fish each week, one of which should be an oily fish, such as mackerel.

However, cod is reportedly the most popular species of fish to eat in the East of England, and 81pc of adults in the region weren't aware of this recommendation.

Debbie Storey, 43, one of the managers of Orford Plaice fish and chip shop, said she was surprised by the news: 'We sell a lot of fish… I'd say we're busier than ever.'

Do you eat enough seafood?

Do you eat enough seafood? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Tom Dix, 28, deputy manager of The Lamb Inn was also surprised, 'given that we're relatively close to the coast'.

He added: 'We're proud of our fish and chips that we serve here, I'd certainly encourage people to come in and eat.'

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Christian Motta, 48, one of the owners of Grosvenor's Fish Bar, said they hadn't seen any decline in sales. He said prices hadn't gone up 'as much as people say. It's still affordable. It's an easy thing to cook: healthy, much quicker than meat'.

However, traders at Norwich Market's City Fish stall weren't shocked by the statistics.

William Shearing, 22, said: 'You only see customers coming here once a week and sometimes not even that now. The price of fish has a big hit on it now, people can't afford it. It's a lot more expensive than meat.' He added that people should look to support their local shops and businesses when buying fish, rather than going to supermarkets.

Another market fish trader, Will Rankin, 22, said he wasn't surprised in the slightest: 'Sales have declined in recent years with things like minimum wage going up, which puts prices up – and affects the consumer.' But he added: 'We can tell you where our stuff's from – we know the fishermen!'

Seafish has launched a campaign - Fish 2 a Week - to encourage people to consume the recommended two portions. A diet that includes regular fish can lower the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Do you eat enough seafood?

With 76pc of adults in the East of England eating fish less than twice a week, we asked Norwich residents how often they are sitting down to salmon or tucking into tuna...

Anne Fallon, 70, retired:

'I eat fish twice a week. A lot of people don't like it, I think you either like it or you don't. It's a preferences thing.

'Yes, I'd encourage people to eat it more.'

Matthew Garnham, 17, student and waiter:

'I eat fish at the moment three times a week. Because we live so near to the coast, I'm quite surprised people don't eat it more.

'We sell lots of fish at the restaurant. Typically we get more orders for red meat and chicken, but we sell a fair bit.

'I think people find it too expensive to cook at home.'

Denise Jary, 57, facilities worker:

'Two times a week for me. It's too expensive, more so than meat.

'I eat it just for health reasons, really. It is expensive to buy but worth it.'

Michelle Docwra, 56, facilities worker:

'I eat fish four times a week. I love shellfish, and fish. I've just gone off meat as I've got older.

'I think a lot of people just don't know how to cook it.

'I try to buy it when it's on offer.'

Karl Bell, 53, accountant:

'Probably three times a week. I think the easiest thing to do is to flake some mackerel on a salad – sorted.

'Probably is, yeah. Because we're surrounded by sea, all the way round to the north east or to the south.

'I don't know if it's gone up in price: it's fish, I buy it. For the guys at the fish market, competing with supermarkets is always going to be difficult.

'My partner grew up with her granddad picking cockles and mussels – she could eat crab every day!'

Michael Parsley, 72, retired:

'I eat fish at least twice a week. People should eat fish, it's good for them.

'My wife cooks it at home. The price depends on where you buy it from. We try to get a good deal – you get what you pay for!'

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