Mercury Levels of Fish and Shellfish

Fish and shellfish are usually considered to be one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-3s seem to be good for your health and good for your heart. Unfortunately, more and more people are bypassing fish and shellfish because they are worried about mercury levels in them.

To help you select fish and shellfish low in mercury, here’s a chart from highest to lowest mean (average) levels of mercury, taken from information provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Low levels of mercury are considered to be 0.100 parts per million [ppm] and less.) In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also provides a website with fish advisories to warn consumers if they should limit or avoid eating certain species of fish caught in places local to where they reside.

 

Species Mercury
Mean
(ppm)
Species Mercury
Mean
(ppm)
Tilefish 1.450 Tuna (Canned, light) 0.118
Shark 0.988 Jacksmelt 0.108
Swordfish 0.976 Cod 0.095
Mackerel King 0.730 Lobster (Spiny) 0.090
Tuna, Bigeye 0.639 Mackerel Chub (Pacific) 0.088
Orange Roughy 0.554 Croaker (Atlantic) 0.072
Marlin 0.485 Trout (Freshwater) 0.072
Grouper (all species) 0.465 Squid 0.070
Mackerel Spanish (Gulf of Mexico) 0.454 Whitefish 0.069
Tuna, Fresh 0.414 Shad American 0.065
Bass, Chilean (Sea, Striped Bass, and Rockfish) 0.386 Crab (Blue, King, Snow)  0.060
Tuna, Albacore 0.353 Butterfish 0.058
Bluefish 0.337 Mackerel Atlantic (North Atlantic) 0.050
Tuna, Yellowfin 0.325 Scallop 0.050
Lobster (Northern/America) 0.310 Catfish 0.048
Croaker White (Pacific) 0.287 Mullet 0.046
Scorpionfish 0.286 Flatfish (Flounder, Plaice, and Sole) 0.045
Weakfish (Sea Trout) 0.256 Herring 0.044
Halibut 0.252 Anchovies 0.043
Sabelfish 0.220 Pollock 0.041
Tuna, Skipjack 0.205 Crawfish 0.033
Snapper 0.189 Haddock (Atlantic) 0.031
Mackerel Spanish (South Atlantic) 0.182 Sardine 0.016
Monkfish 0.180 Hake 0.014
Tilefish (Atlantic) 0.144 Salmon (Fresh/Frozen) 0.014
Carp 0.140 Oyster 0.013
Perch (Freshwater) 0.140 Tilpaia 0.010
Skate 0.137 Shrimp ND
Sheepshead 0.128 Clams ND

ND = No Detection below 0.01 ppm

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