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Is imported fish as healthy a locally caught Australian fish and is it safe ?

I would like to know if imported fish is as healthy as local Australian fish and is the imported fish safe ? What safeguards are in place for the quality of imported fish ?
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Almost all edible fish, and most other seafood, is extremely good for you, regardless of its country of origin. (People with specific allergies, and pregnant women, should seek medical advice about the level of consumption of some species, including Australian fish.) In general, all fish is high in protein, and low in carbohydrates and ‘bad’ fats, making it ideal for a healthy diet. Some species of fish have slightly higher levels of ‘good’ fats/oils (such as Omega 3) but all fish have a beneficial level of nutrients. The regular consumption of fish is universally recommended by the medical profession and nutritionists.


International trade regulations mean food products destined for the import/export trade are subject to much more rigorous standards than products traded in local markets – even in Australia. For instance, the standard of export food processing in Asia is similar too (and in some cases exceeds) the standard of export food processing in Australia and, in general, is much higher than the standard of domestic food processing in Australia. Food processing and packaging factories exporting seafood to Australia must operate to independently audited, international standards of hygiene and quality control. Before being released in Australia, imported seafood (and other food) is also subject to testing by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).

Australia’s main supplier of fish is New Zealand which operates under the same food standards authority as Australia, (FSANZ – Food Standards Australia New Zealand) although imports from there are still subject to AQIS inspections and testing.


All of us at some time will benefit from short-term treatment with antibiotics, administered at full strength (ie. not trace amounts) by medical professionals. However, concern about the growing resistance of germs to antibiotics has led authorities to constrain their use. For instance, antibiotics are not permitted in food products, where they would be consumed regularly.

In the early days of aquaculture around the world, antibiotics were widely also used to keep fish healthy. Improved husbandry and production methods means their use in aquaculture is now minimal, and they not used at all in some countries for some species (eg. farmed prawns from Thailand). In any case, antibiotic residues are not permitted in products imported to Australia. AQIS supervises independent laboratory tests for antibiotics when shipments of food arrive at our borders, to ensure compliance with this.

Antibiotics are not relevant to imported wild-caught fish such as Hake, Hoki or Nile Perch, as they do not come into contact with them.

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