Mercury Levels in Fish Shocking

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The latest study by the U.S. Geological Survey which looked at over 300 of the Nations streams between 1998 – 2005 found that nearly 100% of the fish were contaminated with some levels of mercury, and about 35% had levels higher than the recommended limits by the EPA.  The source of the mercury is believed to be a byproduct of coal based refineries as well as mining and other operations which deposit large amounts of mercury into the water supplies which is then converted to methylmercury by the environment which is absorbed into fish and shellfish.

We all know that fish is extremely healthy but with the mercury levels rising in fish we need to make sure that we consume fish that are the safest when it comes to mercury levels, and it is important to arm yourself with the knowledge of the safer fish to eat if you are worried about mercury.

Fish with lowest levels of mercury and safest to eat (2-3 times per week):
Anchovies
Atlantic cod
Chilean Sea Bass
Farmed Catfish
Herring
King Crab
Monkfish
Orange Roughy
Pacific Flounder
Scallops
Shrimp
Striped Bass
Tilapia
Wild Pacific and Alaskan Salmon

Moderate levels of mercury, safe to eat 1x per week:
Alaskan Halibut
Black Cod
Blue Crab
Blue Mussels
Canned Light Tuna
Dungeness Crab
Eastern Oysters
Pollack (Imitation Crab)
The following fish all have moderate levels of mercury:

Fish to avoid and are known to have high POP or Mercury Levels:
Atlantic Halibut
Farmed Salmon (recommended not more than 1x per month if pregnant, eat wild caught instead)
Golden Snapper (tilefish)
King Mackerel
Oysters (Gulf Coast)
Pike
Sea Bass
Shark
Swordfish
Tuna (Albacore and canned Albacore)

Updated: August 25, 2009 — 10:00 am