Are sea bass, sea bream, halibut and turbot safe to eat when pregnant?

Expert guidance on whether it's OK to eat these restaurant fish favourites during pregnancy

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In a nutshell

Yes, sea bass, sea bream, halibut and turbot are fine in pregnancy – in moderation.

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The expert view

While you can eat your fill of white fish such as cod and haddock during pregnancy, fish such as sea bass, sea bream, halibut and turbot are different and have separate guidelines to white fish.

The fish themselves are safe to eat. However, scientists have found they have similar levels of pollutants to oily fish, so they should be limited to two portions each week.

A portion is about 140g when cooked, or about 170g before it is cooked.

These guidelines apply to:

  • Sea bass
  • Sea bream
  • Turbot
  • Halibut

The latest advice from the Food Standards Agency’s Committee on Toxicity is that mums-to-be should treat these fish as if they are oily fish, and have no more than a couple of 140g portions a week.

Its research found that there isn’t much difference between the wild and farmed varieties.

With all fish though, nutritionist Dr Rana Conway warns to “make sure that it is cooked properly to avoid the risk of food poisoning”.

The NHS says you don’t need to limit or avoid other types of white and non-oily fish, such as:

  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Plaice
  • Coley
  • Skate
  • Hake
  • Flounder
  • Gurnard

What do mums writing on our forum say?

“You are definitely not meant to eat raw fish. I was told you should only have salmon and prawns that are cooked and served hot.” – Bristol

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