‘BeneFISHiary’ Mobile App For Women Released

December 15, 2015

The Ministry of Health, Seniors and Environment is advising the public that the Bermuda Seafood Guide For Women is now available online at benefishiary.com, providing a free mobile application targeting all Bermuda residents seeking information on local fish.

A spokesperson said, “The App, called ‘BeneFISHiary’ is particularly empowering for women who may want to conceive, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers, who are concerned about the effects of mercury contamination in food on the health of their children. The App is a centralized source of information for healthy and sustainable seafood choices.

“BeneFISHiary was designed to be easy to access and understand. The App also contains information about the sustainability of local and commercial fish as determined by international organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN].

“These health and environmental factors are presented separately in the App. Consumption recommendations are presented referring to both factors, helping women to make choices beneficial to their health and the environment.

“This initiative is the culmination of a series of research programs that began with a Foetal Cord Blood Study in 2003, conducted by the Atlantis mobile Laboratories BBSR visit to Bermuda and the Maternity Ward at the KEMH. Future studies, carried out by the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation Services, scientists from Laval University and Atlantis, focused on understanding sources of mercury exposure to humans in Bermuda.

“Program activities, which were conducted over the course of approximately 7 years, aimed to reduce the blood mercury concentrations in pregnant Bermudian women, which in 2003 exceeded levels associated with adverse health outcomes in children.

“A rigorous research program identifying food sources of mercury, coupled with a direct public health advisory, was followed up by a 2012 reassessment of mercury levels in pregnancy.

“That later study documented a 5 fold reduction in mercury levels, demonstrating that women in Bermuda were receptive to the public health messages aiming to protect them from environmental contaminants found in certain larger fish species.

“BeneFISHiary helps balance the best information available to Bermudian women, and women worldwide, by increasing access to the data available in scientific publications and from international governmental and non-profit organizations. The simplified information in the App makes finding safety information quick and easy.

“The successful collaboration between the Departments of Health and Conservations Services, the University of Laval, and local obstetricians, is worthy of praise and recognition.”

“We are grateful to all who have participated over the years and to funders like the XL Foundations and the Lepercq Foundation and for the facilities provided by BIOS and BUEI,” said the Minister of Health, Seniors and Environment, Jeanne Atherden.

“We are also especially grateful to the pioneering work of our friend and colleague the late Dr Eric Dewailly, and Dr Catherine Pirkle who oversaw these studies. This is an encouraging example of the benefits derived from broad collaboration to address health concerns.”

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  1. Wonder Why says:

    Bermuda Chub
    ” Its dark and white meat is great grilled or fried. Traditionally a prized fish, today the Bermuda chub is most commonly used in fish cakes.”

    I’ve been hoodwinked all these years! Or did Robain write this for us all to believe?