Health & Nutrition

FDA reporting on the Mercury Levels in Seafood Species

FDA Information
The FDA has detailed information on Mercury levels in all different types of fish and seafood.
Below is information found online at:
http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html

U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Seafood
May 2001

Mercury Levels in Seafood Species
The following tables provide the mean and range of mercury levels in a
variety of fish and shellfish:

Table 1
Fish With Highest Mercury Levels

SPECIES

MEAN (PPM)

RANGE (PPM)

NO. OF SAMPLES

Tilefish

1.45

0.65-3.73

60

*Swordfish

1.00

0.10-3.22

598

King Mackerel

0.73

0.30-1.67

213

*Shark

0.96

0.05-4.54

324

Table 2
Fish and Shellfish With Much Lower Mercury Levels

SPECIES

MEAN (PPM)

RANGE (PPM)

NO. OF SAMPLES

Grouper (Mycteroperca)

0.43

0.05-1.35

64

Tuna (fresh or frozen)*does not specify variety of tuna

0.32

ND-1.30

191

*Lobster Northern (American)

0.31

0.05-1.31

88

Grouper (Epinephelus)

0.27

0.19-0.33

48

*Halibut

0.23

0.02-0.63

29

*Sablefish

0.22

ND-0.70

102

*Pollock

0.20

ND-0.78

107

*Tuna (canned) *does not specify variety of tuna

0.17

ND-0.75

248

*Crab Blue

0.17

0.02-0.50

94

*Crab Dungeness

0.18

0.02-0.48

50

*Crab Tanner

0.15

ND-0.38

55

*Crab King

0.09

0.02-0.24

29

*Scallop

0.05

ND-0.22

66

*Catfish

0.07

ND-0.31

22

*Salmon (fresh, frozen or canned)

ND

ND-0.18

52

*Oysters

ND

ND-0.25

33

*Shrimps

ND

ND

22

Table 3
Fish With Methyl mercury Levels Based on Limited Sampling

SPECIES

MEAN (PPM)

RANGE (PPM)

NO. OF SAMPLES

*Red Snapper

0.60

0.07-1.46

10

Marlin

0.47

0.25-0.92

13

Moonfish

0.60

0.60

1

Orange Roughy

0.58

0.42-0.76

9

Bass Saltwater

0.49

0.10-0.91

9

Trout Freshwater

0.42

1.22 (max)

NA

Bluefish

0.30

0.20-0.40

2

Croaker

0.28

0.18-0.41

15

Trout Seawater

0.27

ND-1.19

4

*Cod (Atlantic)

0.19

ND-0.33

11

Mahi Mahi

0.19

0.12-0.25

15

*Ocean Perch

0.18

ND-0.31

10

Haddock (Atlantic)

0.17

0.07-0.37

10

Whitefish

0.16

ND-0.31

2

Herring

0.15

0.016-0.28

8

*Spiny Lobster

0.13

ND-0.27

8

Perch Freshwater

0.11

0.10-0.31

4

Perch Saltwater

0.10

0.10-0.15

6

Flounder/Sole

0.04

ND-0.18

17

*Clams

ND

ND

6

Tilapia

ND

ND

8

*Fish and shellfish among the most consumed of the domestic seafood market

Sources of methyl mercury data:
- FDA database FY 85-99
- EPA Mercury Study Report to Congress, 1997
- A Survey of the Occurrence of Mercury in the Fishery Resources of the Gulf of Mexico Report (2000)
- NMFS 1976, 1978 Report

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