The effects of methyl mercury poisoning include cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, impaired mental functioning, impaired lung function, growth problems, and having a small head. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends checking local advisories for the mercury content of fish caught in your area using their website.
Bluefish Grouper Sea Bass (Chilean) Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf) Croaked (White, Pacific) Sable fish Perch (ocean) Tuna (canned albacore, yellow fin) Bluefish and grouper : The National Resources Defense Council adds these to the list of those to avoid.
King mackerel Marlin Orange Roughly Shark Swordfish Tile fish (from the Gulf of Mexico) Tuna (Big eye, AHI) Very well Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
Though the amount of mercury in fish greatly varies depending on the type of fish, their size, weight, and age, it is still noteworthy to learn how these pollutants may pose potential health risks among us as consumers if we eat too much of it. So as my wife and I were doing some research in hopes of promoting a solid diet and healthier lifestyle (and because she is pregnant right now), here is the list of those saltwater fish species that could do more harm than good to you and your health if eaten out of moderation.
Strong Angler Cameron Parsons with a nice king fish FDA warns children, pregnant women and lactating moms to NOT eat any king mackerel due to their very high mercury content. Eliminating these fish species in your diet can definitely reduce your chances of getting exposed to the harmful effects of mercury and other existing contaminants.
Health advocates encourage children as well as pregnant and nursing mothers to only consume three to six-ounce portions of white tuna in a month. According to a CNN report, this type of fish has extremely high levels of metal mercury that can eventually cause coordination loss, blindness and even death, depending on the amount or portion ingested.
Scientists believed that such increased mercury content was due to the accumulation of certain contaminants in their body as they eat lots of smaller fish. “What we found for our 124 sharks that we sampled was that about one-third of them came in with mercury levels that were over the Food and Drug Administration’s action level of one part per million,” Robert Hunter, director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research in Sarasota, said in a statement.
The cobra is a delicious saltwater fish that sadly can soak up a lot of mercury. Strong Angler Tina Corrode with what’s left of her swordfish you like catching daytime or nighttime swordfish, you might want to be careful how much of it you eat.
Because swordfish is up at the very top of the list in terms of mercury content for saltwater fish. Strong Angler Cindy Dillard with an evening bluefishBluefish are fun to catch, will hit pretty much anything you drag through the water, and can really rip some line out on light tackle.
Greater Amber jack South Atlantic grouper (i.e. gag, scamp, red and snowy) Tile fish (also called golden or white snapper) Banded Rudder fish. Needless to say, it’s basically what you know (i.e. lowering your mercury risk exposure) that can really help you keep a healthy mind and body.
OF SAMPLESSOURCE OF DATASCALLOP0.003ND0.007ND0.03339FDA 1991-2009CLAM0.0090.0020.011ND0.02815FDA 1991-2010SHRIMP0.0090.0010.013ND0.0540FDA 1991-2009OYSTER0.012ND0.035ND0.2561FDA 1991-2009SARDINE0.0130.0100.015ND0.08390FDA 2002-2010TILAPIA0.0130.0040.023ND0.08432FDA 1991-2008SALMON (CANNED)0.0140.0100.021ND0.08619FDA 1993-2009ANCHOVIES0.0160.0110.015ND0.04915FDA 2007-2009SALMON (FRESH/FROZEN)0.0220.0150.034ND0.1994FDA 1991-2009CATFISH0.0240.0050.056ND0.31459FDA 1991-2010SQUID0.0240.0170.023ND0.0736FDA 2005-2009POLLOCK0.0310.0030.089ND0.7895FDA 1991-2008CRAWFISH0.0330.0350.012ND0.05146FDA 1991-2007SHAD0.0380.0330.045ND0.18615FDA 2007-2011MACKEREL ATLANTIC (N. Atlantic)0.05 N/AN/A0.020.1680NMFS REPORT 1978MULLET0.0500.0140.078ND0.2720FDA 1991-2008WHITING0.0510.0520.030ND0.09613FDA 1991-2008HADDOCK (Atlantic)0.0550.0490.033ND0.19750FDA 1991-2009FLATFISH 0.0560.050.045ND0.21871FDA 1991-2009BUTTERFISH0.058N/AN/AND0.3689NMFS REPORT 1978CRAB 0.0650.050.096ND0.6193FDA 1991-2009CROAKER ATLANTIC (Atlantic)0.0690.060.049ND0.19390FDA 2002-2011TROUT (FRESHWATER)0.0710.0250.141ND0.67835FDA 1991-2008HERRING0.0780.0420.128ND0.5627FDA 2005-2012HAKE0.0790.0670.064ND0.37849FDA 1994-2009JACKSMELT0.0810.050.1030.0110.523FDA 1997-2007MACKEREL CHUB (Pacific)0.088 N/AN/A0.030.1930NMFS REPORT 1978WHITEFISH0.0890.0670.084ND0.31737FDA 1991-2008SHEEPSHEAD0.0900.080.050ND0.178FDA 1992-2007LOBSTER (Spiny)0.0930.0620.097ND0.2713FDA 1991-2005PICKEREL0.0950.0910.100ND0.3116FDA 1991-2007LOBSTER (NORTHERN / AMERICAN)0.1070.0860.076ND0.239FDA 2005-2007CARP0.1100.1340.237ND0.27114FDA 1992-2007COD0.1110.0660.152ND0.989115FDA 1991-2010PERCH OCEAN0.1210.1020.125ND0.57831FDA 1991-2010TUNA (CANNED, LIGHT)0.1260.0770.134ND0.889545FDA 1991-2010BUFFALOFISH0.1370.120.0940.0320.4317FDA 1992-2008SKATE0.137N/AN/A0.040.3656NMFS REPORT 1978TILEFISH (Atlantic)0.1440.0990.1220.0420.53332FDA 1994-2004TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Skyjack)0.1440.150.1190.0220.263FDA 1993-2007PERCH (Freshwater)0.1500.1460.112ND0.32519FDA 1991-2007MONKFISH0.1610.1390.095ND0.28911FDA 1994-2007LOBSTER (Species Unknown)0.1660.1430.099ND0.45171FDA 1991-2008SNAPPER0.1660.1130.244ND1.36667FDA 1991-2007BASS (SALTWATER, BLACK, STRIPED, Rocks) 0.1670.0940.194ND0.96101FDA 1991-2010MAHI MAHI0.1780.180.103ND0.4529FDA 1991-2005MACKEREL SPANISH (S. Atlantic)0.182 N/AN/A0.050.7343NMFS REPORT 1978SCORPIONFISH0.2330.1810.1390.0980.4566FDA 2006-2007WEAKFISH (SEA TROUT)0.2350.1570.216ND0.74446FDA 1991-2005HALIBUT0.2410.1880.225ND1.52101FDA 1992-2009CROAKER WHITE (Pacific)0.2870.280.0690.180.4115FDA 1997TUNA (CANNED, ALBACORE)0.3500.3380.128ND0.853451FDA 1991-2009BASS CHILEAN0.3540.3030.299ND2.1874FDA 1994-2010TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, YELLOW FIN)0.3540.3110.231ND1.478231FDA 1993-2010TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALBACORE)0.3580.360.138ND0.8243FDA 1992-2008SABLEFISH0.3610.2650.2410.091.05226FDA 2004-2009BLUEFISH0.3680.3050.2210.0891.45294FDA 1991-2009TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALL)0.3860.340.265ND1.816420FDA 1991-2010TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Species Unknown)0.4100.3340.308ND1.3122FDA 1991-2010 GROUPER (ALL SPECIES)0.4480.3990.2780.0061.20553FDA 1991-2005MACKEREL SPANISH (Gulf of Mexico)0.454 N/AN/A0.071.5666NMFS REPORT 1978MARLIN0.4850.390.2370.10.9216FDA 1992-1996ORANGE ROUGHY0.5710.5620.1830.2651.1281FDA 1991-2009TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Bogey)0.6890.560.3410.1281.81621FDA 1993-2005MACKEREL KING0.73N/AN/A0.231.67213GULF OF MEXICO REPORT 2000SHARK0.9790.8110.626ND4.54356FDA 1991-2007SWORDFISH0.9950.870.539ND3.22636FDA 1990-2010TILEFISH (Gulf of Mexico)1.123 N/AN/A0.653.7360NMFS REPORT 1978 Source of data: FDA 1990-2012, “National Marine Fisheries Service Survey of Trace Elements in the Fishery Resource” Report 1978, “The Occurrence of Mercury in the Fishery Resources of the Gulf of Mexico” Report 2000 NOTE: On February 8, 2006, technical changes were made to the data that was posted on January 19, 2006.
The changes corrected data or more properly characterized the species of fish or shellfish sampled. On October 6, 2014, technical changes were made to allow viewers to review the list in order of mercury levels and in alphabetical order by fish species.
When mercury gets into the atmosphere, it travels anywhere from a few miles to halfway around the world before being deposited on land and water bodies. As a result, major point sources often deliver mercury both to nearby locations and to the global atmosphere.
It may also be discharged directly into receiving waters by factories or waste sites, although most of these “point sources” have been curtailed or eliminated. Avoid these fish with high mercury levels Fish with the highest mercury levels include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, Gulf tile fish, big eye tuna, grouper, orange roughly, marlin and Chilean sea bass.
List of low and high mercury concentration levels in fish species, includes chart of fish species safe and not safe for pregnant women and public consumption. US government scientists tested fish in 291 streams around the country for mercury contamination.
The U.S. FDA recommends eating 8 – 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week. Fish contain vital nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron.
These nutrients are essential, particularly for pregnant moms, as they foster healthy fetal, infant, and childhood development. Mercury is defined as a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80.
Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend upon the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure.
That is why larger, longer-living predators such as sharks and swordfish tend to have more of the toxin than smaller fish such as sardines, sole, and trout. US government scientists tested fish in 291 streams around the country for mercury contamination.
The presence of mercury in fish can be a particular health concern for women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children. Mercury levels in the Northern Pacific Ocean have risen about 30 percent over the past 20 years and are expected to rise by 50 percent more by 2050 as industrial mercury emissions increase, according to a 2009 study led by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and Harvard University.
Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Abstract: List of low and high mercury concentration levels in fish species, includes chart of fish species safe and not safe for pregnant women and public consumption.
×This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. ×This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff.
Regardless, there are about 60 different species of fish that are allowed to be called rock fish, according to the FDA, and it is found on both the East and West Coast. For example, Pacific Ocean perch, chili pepper, cow cod, grouper and tree fish are all allowed to be called rock fish.
While it may have some beneficial effects, such as cell-building benefits, boosting brain function and potentially combating certain disease, rock fish generally is farmed and could lead to mercury and/or fish poisoning. Provides Cell-Building Benefits Rocks contains protein, which is a must- have for proper nutrition.
It is pretty literal given that every single cell in the body contains protein. It is a pretty big deal when it comes to the growth and developmental stages of children, teenagers and women who are pregnant, in addition to helping repair and rebuild stressed cells of athletes.
As an antioxidant, it has cancer-fighting properties, helps with thyroid function, provides assistance for a healthy heart and supports the immune system. Without selenium, the body is at risk for various health conditions, such as autism, Down syndrome, brain tumors, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis, asthma and even obesity.
Researchers looked at opioid doses, antibiotic consumption and quality of life scores. After a month, they found “the vitamin D treated group had a significantly decreased fentanyl dose compared to the untreated group … which increased further at 3 months.” In addition, those treated with vitamin D improved quality of life scores and “had significantly lowed consumption of antibiotics after 3 months compared to the untreated group.” There were no adverse side effects reported by the vitamin D group as well.
May Reduce the Risk of Disease Selenium is a much-need nutrient to help maintain proper function of the body. It is quite the antioxidant, providing cancer-fighting properties, help with a good-working thyroid, keeps the brain sharp, the heart healthy and the immune system strong.
Lack of selenium could cause some pretty serious problems, such as muscular dystrophy, autism, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, brain tumors and diabetes, to name a few. Mercury One hand, most fish provide lean protein, selenium and vitamin D. Plus, fish is typically low in fat, making it even more appealing to consumers, but according to the Environmental Defense Fund, rock fish contains moderate levels of mercury.
(6) Mercury can cause neurological disorders, thyroid issues, insomnia and kidney problems, to name a few. Additionally, a statewide advisory was issued by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (Omaha) regarding the consumption of rock fish on California coastal waterways, except enclosed bays and coastal areas, due to mercury levels and poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCs) found in the fish.
Based on a study where fish contained high levels of mercury, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that 0.1 kg/kg body weight per day is safe. The illness is usually mild to moderate with potential for gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, cramping, nausea, vomiting and some neurological effects.
Any reef fish can cause the poisoning, but it is most likely contracted from species including “barracuda, grouper, red snapper, moray eel, amber jack, parrot fish, dogfish, sturgeon fish, king fish, coral trout, and sea bass.” The ciguatoxins collect in the fish liver, intestines, heads and roe. Check with FDA reports in the area to make sure there has not been a recent outbreak of illnesses due to the toxins.
According to the USDA’s National Nutrient Database, one fillet (about 149 grams) of cooked, dry-heat, mixed species Pacific rock fish contains about: (12) Many cities, such as San Diego, offer this luxury, but, if you do not live in a fishing town, you are not going to make the catch.
Only buy fish that is refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice in a case and with a protective cover. The flesh should be shiny, and the gills should be bright red with no milky slime.
Some refrigerated seafood has temperature indicators that show whether the product has been stored properly. Avoid frost or ice crystals, which could indicate that the fish has been thawed and refrozen or has been around for a while.
Using healthy cooking options, such as baking, broiling, poaching or grilling fish, is great. If it is selenium you are looking for, you can get that in Brazil nuts, but if fish is what you are after, there may be some rock fish alternatives that you like.
If you want a rockfish-like option, Sabina Center suggests using striped bass or Pacific halibut instead of rock fish since they have a similar dense, flaky texture and flavor. Coming from more than 100 species of all sorts of shapes and sizes, rock fish usually hang out in kelp forests from intertidal waters to more than 1,500 feet of depth as well as on rocky reefs and in shallow waters near shores.
Known for the bony plates on their heads and bodies, their colors range from black and green to bright reds and oranges, and some have striped or splotchy patterns. Because some rock fish do not breed until they are 20 years old, it can affect their population due to overfishing.
This has created the need for emergency rock fish closures on some area of the West Coast. While you may not ever have to handle rock fish, they actually contain a venomous fin spine and ranges from very toxic to mild.
Some rock fish can produce as much as 1,000,000 eggs at a time and the females give birth to tiny larvae about four to five weeks after fertilization. It can let you know if fish is bad in many cases, although it cannot inform you of the ciguatoxin previously noted.
Final Thoughts While rock fish may provide cell-building benefits, help boost brain power, and provides a healthy dose of selenium and vitamin D, it also can be contaminated with mercury and lead to fish poisoning, which is why I generally recommend avoiding it. It may be OK in small amounts on occasion, though I suggest opting for wild-caught salmon as your fish of choice instead.