Origin of fish
With marine pollution, many have expressed concern over the presence of toxic contaminants, such as heavy metals, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) accumulated in fish when it comes to buying fish oil supplements. Although processing method will remove the toxic chemicals, it will be good to consider fish oils that are extracted from small fish, such as anchovies and sardines. As small fish are lower on the food chain, these fish naturally have a much lower concentration of contaminants compared to bigger fish. Small fish is a better source since it is lower down the food chain and have much lower concentration of toxic contaminants.
Sustainability of fish
It is advisable to purchase fish oil supplements extracted from sustainably sourced fish.Smaller boats will be used rather than large trawling vessels. This is because larger vessels spend a longer time at sea and are less likely to achieve sustainable fishing practices or maintain the highest quality raw fish stocks used in the manufacturing of fish oils. By using smaller boats, the freshly caught fish will be delivered to the processing facilities in the shortest period of time for immediate handling. To ensure the maximal possible freshness of raw materials, the processing facilities will be located close to the harbor, if not on the harbor itself. In addition, smaller fish normally have shorter lives and reproduce more quickly. Hence, they are more sustainable than larger fish. To ensure sustainability, it is advisable to purchase fish oil that has been certified by FOS (Friend of the Sea), MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) or a similar organisation. In brief, check for fish oil that has been tested by third party by FOS, MSC, EDF or similar organizations to ensure sustainability of fish stock and fish oils.