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.
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.
This is especially dangerous for pregnant and breastfeeding women because fetuses and newborns are very sensitive to mercury.Find out the best fish to eat and in what amounts. That is why pregnant and nursing mothers must be very careful about the amounts and types of fish they eat.
For that reason, women who are planning to become pregnant may want to begin to avoid fish that are higher in mercury before they become pregnant. The effects of methyl mercury poisoning include cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, impaired mental functioning, impaired lung function, growth problems, and having a small head.
And even though most freshwater and saltwater fish are generally considered safe to eat, there are some saltwater fish that contain varying levels of contaminants like mercury, PCs, and dioxins, which they acquire from the water they live in and from the food they eat. 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.
King mackerel has one of the highest levels of mercury out of all the popular saltwater fish. 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.
Although most people throw back jacks and refer to them as a “junk fish”, but for those of you that do eat them, be careful! Greater Amber jack South Atlantic grouper (i.e. gag, scamp, red and snowy) Tile fish (also called golden or white snapper) Banded Rudder fish.
One thing that most of the articles failed to mention was the role that selenium plays in 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.
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.
However, the FDA recommends eating 8 to 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week. That amounts to about 2 to 3 servings of fish per week, which can be eaten in place of other types of protein.
Make sure to choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned-light), cod, and catfish. In these bodies of water, mercury turns into methyl mercury, a neurotoxin found in most fish in at least small amounts.
Due to their high mercury levels, there are four types of fish that should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding. These include tile fish from the Gulf of Mexico, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel.
Also, if you eat fish from a local river, stream, or lake, make sure to first check the advisories for those bodies of water. If this information is not provided, consumption of such fish should be limited to 6 ounces per week.
The American Pregnancy Association is honored to have Safe Catch as a corporate sponsor. Safe Catch individually tests each and every (fish) for mercury levels.
Safe Catch also raises their mercury level restrictions even further than what the FDA allows creating an even healthier fish option.