There are several ways of determining what fish are safe to eat in Ireland, the Irish Times has revealed.
The newspaper’s research team looked at the research literature, fishing manuals, food safety rules and public health guidelines for each species of fish that is used for fish dishes.
It found there were more than 10,000 types of fish, many of which are used as a main ingredient in food, but there are also many species that are not.
There are five species of salmon, four of which have been implicated in the deaths of young people in Ireland: Chinook, Barramundi, Steller and Barents.
The research was conducted by Dr Paul Dolan, head of the Marine Science Department at St Andrews University and Professor Richard O’Connor from the Department of Fisheries, Food and Agricultural Science at Stirling University.
There were some areas of uncertainty about some of the species, with the species with the highest incidence of deaths in Ireland being the Steller salmon.
“It is very concerning that some species of freshwater fish are so highly concentrated and can kill people,” Dr Dolan said.
“These salmon are not only a big threat to the people in the community but also to the environment.”
The main reason for the concentration is that they have been bred and are grown on a large scale.
“This is what is happening in many other areas of the world and it is really concerning.”‘
They’re breeding like crazy’The research also showed that the Stellers are highly concentrated in the South of Ireland, particularly on the Dorset coast, where they are found in huge numbers.
“There is evidence that they’re breeding at the same time, and that’s really worrying because there is not a lot of time for the population to develop,” Dr O’Connor said.
“We’ve got a very concentrated population in the Denton area and in the area that we study, which is really bad news.”
They are also concentrated in areas with very high mortality rates, Dr Dolas said, pointing out that the salmon are the ones that tend to be at the top of the food chain in these regions.
“That’s why they’re such a concern for us.
It’s the first time we’ve come across something like this.”
There are also other threats to the fish, including pollution from the sewage industry and overfishing.
“In some parts of the country they’re catching far too much of the fish they need to eat and it’s killing them.
That is an issue that’s been raised,” he said.
But the study also found there was little evidence of a link between a fish and the illness, although some studies have linked the fish to illness.
Dr Dolan explained that there was some evidence that fish had been contaminated with a toxin called diazinon, which could be dangerous to humans.
“Some of the contaminants we’re looking at in our data come from sewage treatment facilities,” he explained.
“Diazinons are used in food processing, so the contamination we’ve identified is something that’s in the environment and that is potentially dangerous.”
The findings of the research were published on Thursday.