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Know about the Mercury Levels in Fish

Know about the Mercury Levels in Fish

Despite being packed with great nutrients like omega-3, B-vitamins, and lean protein, fish may also have fish mercury. And, that presents a great concern. Mercury levels in fish can affect the nervous system and its development. If you've been eating fish and have little to no knowledge about fish mercury, read this article.

Here's What you Need to Know About Fish Mercury Levels!

In This Article:

Fish Consumption!

Fish Consumption | Know About the Mercury Levels in Fish | Fish Consumption


The FDA has guidelines for children, pregnant women, and women who are trying to get pregnant. The guidelines advise a weekly consumption of no more than 12 ounces of low-mercury fish and shellfish. They also state avoiding highest-level-mercury fish and keeping high-level-mercury fish to three 6-ounce servings per month.

What Types of Fish to Avoid!

What Types of Fish to Avoid | What Types of Fish to Avoid | Know About the Mercury Levels in Fish | Fish Consumption


Fish contains healthy nutrients essential for growth and development, especially in pregnancy. But, these 4 types of fish should be avoided due to high levels of mercury as per the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish

Mercury Levels in Fish!

Mercury Levels in Fish | Know About the Mercury Levels in Fish | Fish Consumption


To further know the specific types of fish you should avoid eating, we've prepared a list below.

Highest Mercury: Avoid eating.

  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Mackerel (King)
  • Tuna (Bigeye, Ahi)

High Mercury: Eat no more than three 6-ounce servings per month.

  • Sea Bass (Chilean)
  • Bluefish
  • Grouper
  • Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
  • Tuna (Canned, White Albacore) See Tuna Chart Below
  • Tuna (Yellowfin)

Lower Mercury: Eat no more than six 6-ounce servings per month.

  • Bass (Striped, Black)
  • Carp
  • Cod (Alaskan)
  • Croaker (White Pacific)
  • Halibut (Pacific and Atlantic), Jacksmelt (Silverside)
  • Lobster
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch (Freshwater)
  • Sablefish
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Sea trout (Weakfish)
  • Tuna (Canned, Chunk Light)
  • Tuna (Skipjack)

Lowest Mercury: Enjoy two 6-ounce servings per week.

  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab (Domestic)
  • Crawfish/Crayfish
  • Croaker
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Mackerel (North Atlantic, Chub)
  • Mullet
  • Oysters
  • Perch (Ocean)
  • Plaice
  • Salmon (Canned, Fresh)
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Shad (American)
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Squid (Calamari)
  • Tilapia
  • Trout (Freshwater)
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

Tuna Mercury Levels and Consumption!

Tuna Mercury Levels and Consumption | Know About the Mercury Levels in Fish | Fish Consumption


Tuna mercury levels can differ based on the type of tuna and where it was caught. The NRDC created the chart below as a guideline to how much tuna children, pregnant women, or women wanting to conceive can eat, based on their weight.

(Chart from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC); Data obtained by the FDA and the EPA)

Weight in Pounds Frequency
White Albacore Chunk Light
20 lbs 1 Can/10 Weeks 1 Can/3 Weeks
30 lbs 1 Can/6 Weeks 1 Can/2 Weeks
40 lbs 1 Can/5 Weeks 1 Can/11 Days
50 lbs 1 Can/4 Weeks 1 Can/9 Days
60 lbs 1 Can/3 Weeks 1 Can/7 Days
70 lbs 1 Can/3 Weeks 1 Can/6 Days
80 lbs 1 Can/2 Weeks 1 Can/ 6 Days
90 lbs 1 can/2 Weeks 1 Can/5 Days
100 lbs 1 Can/2 Weeks 1 Can/5 Days
110 lbs 1 Can/12 Days 1 Can/4 Days
120 lbs 1 Can/11 Days 1 Can/4 Days
130 lbs 1 Can/10 Days 1 Can/4 Days
140 lbs 1 Can/10 Days 1 Can/3 Days
150 lbs + 1 Can/9 Days 1 Can/3 Days


Find out how mercury gets into fish by watching this video from Seeker's channel:

What does this all mean for us, especially for pregnant women and children? Moderate consumption is what. Recent information found in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that fish should not be cut out of the human diet.

How much fish do you include in your diet? Share it with us in the comments section below!

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Article Source: We have not modified the factual content about mercury levels in fish from the source. This content is syndicated news that can be used for your research, and we hope it can help your productivity. This content is strictly for educational purposes and is not made for any kind of the commercial purpose of this blog.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned are intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 4, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.