Food

Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2010)

Mercury and Methylmercury Main Page

See also Mercury Concentrations in Fish: FDA Monitoring Program


The table is sorted by MERCURY CONCENTRATION MEAN (PPM) from fish with lowest levels of mercury to highest levels of mercury. You may also sort the table by SPECIES in alphabetical order. 

SPECIES MERCURY CONCENTRATION
MEAN (PPM)
MERCURY CONCENTRATION
MEDIAN (PPM)
MERCURY CONCENTRATION
STDEV (PPM)
MERCURY CONCENTRATION
MIN (PPM)
MERCURY CONCENTRATION 
MAX (PPM)
NO. OF SAMPLES SOURCE OF DATA
CLAM * 0.009 0.002 0.011 ND 0.028 15 FDA 1991-2010
SCALLOP 0.003 ND 0.007 ND 0.033 39 FDA 1991-2009
ANCHOVIES 0.017 0.014 0.015 ND 0.049 14 FDA 2007-2010
SHRIMP * 0.009 0.001 0.013 ND 0.05 40 FDA 1991-2009
CRAWFISH 0.033 0.035 0.012 ND 0.051 46 FDA 1991 -2007
SQUID 0.023 0.016 0.022 ND 0.07 42 FDA 2005-2010
SARDINE 0.013 0.01 0.015 ND 0.083 90 FDA 2002-2010
TILAPIA * 0.013 0.004 0.023 ND 0.084 32 FDA 1991-2008
SALMON (CANNED) * 0.008 ND 0.017 ND 0.086 34 FDA 1992-2009
WHITING 0.051 0.052 0.03 ND 0.096 13 FDA 1991-2008
MACKEREL ATLANTIC (N.Atlantic) 0.05 N/A N/A 0.02 0.16 80 NMFS REPORT 1978
SHEEPSHEAD 0.093 0.088 0.059 ND 0.17 6 FDA 2007 - 2009
SHAD AMERICAN 0.045 0.039 0.045 0.013 0.186 13 FDA 2007-2010
MACKEREL CHUB (Pacific) 0.088 N/A N/A 0.03 0.19 30 NMFS REPORT 1978
SALMON (FRESH/FROZEN) * 0.022 0.015 0.034 ND 0.19 94 FDA 1991-2009
CROAKER ATLANTIC (Atlantic) 0.065 0.061 0.05 ND 0.193 57 FDA 2002 - 2009
HADDOCK (Atlantic) 0.055 0.049 0.033 ND 0.197 50 FDA 1991-2009
FLATFISH [2*] 0.056 0.05 0.045 ND 0.218 71 FDA 1991-2009
LOBSTER (NORTHERN / AMERICAN) 0.107 0.086 0.076 ND 0.23 9 FDA 2005-2007
OYSTER 0.012 ND 0.035 ND 0.25 61 FDA 1991-2009
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, SKIPJACK) 0.144 0.15 0.119 0.022 0.26 3 FDA 1993 - 2007
LOBSTER (Spiny) 0.093 0.062 0.097 ND 0.27 13 FDA 1991-2005
MULLET 0.05 0.014 0.078 ND 0.27 20 FDA 1991-2008
CARP 0.11 0.134 0.099 ND 0.271 14 FDA 1992 - 2007
MONKFISH 0.181 0.139 0.075 0.106 0.289 9 FDA 2006-2008
CATFISH 0.025 0.005 0.057 ND 0.314 57 FDA 1991-2010
WHITEFISH 0.089 0.067 0.084 ND 0.317 37 FDA 1991-2008
PERCH (Freshwater) 0.15 0.146 0.112 ND 0.325 19 FDA 1991-2007
BUTTERFISH 0.058 N/A N/A ND 0.36 89 NMFS REPORT 1978
SKATE 0.137 N/A N/A 0.04 0.36 56 NMFS REPORT 1978
HAKE 0.079 0.067 0.064 ND 0.378 49 FDA 1994-2009
CROAKER WHITE (Pacific) 0.287 0.28 0.069 0.18 0.41 15 FDA 1997
BUFFALOFISH 0.137 0.12 0.094 0.032 0.43 17 FDA 1992-2008
LOBSTER (Species Unknown) 0.166 0.143 0.099 ND 0.451 71 FDA 1991-2008
SCORPIONFISH 0.233 0.181 0.139 0.098 0.456 6 FDA 2007 - 2008
JACKSMELT 0.081 0.05 0.103 0.011 0.5 23 FDA 1997-2007
TILEFISH (Atlantic) 0.144 0.099 0.122 0.042 0.533 32 FDA 2002-04
HERRING 0.084 0.048 0.128 ND 0.56 26 FDA 2006-2009
PERCH OCEAN * 0.121 0.102 0.125 ND 0.578 31 FDA 1991-2010
CRAB [1] 0.065 0.05 0.096 ND 0.61 93 FDA 1991-2009
TROUT (FRESHWATER) 0.071 0.025 0.141 ND 0.678 35 FDA 1991 -2008
MACKEREL SPANISH (S. Atlantic) 0.182 N/A N/A 0.05 0.73 43 NMFS REPORT 1978
WEAKFISH (SEA TROUT) 0.235 0.157 0.216 0 0.744 46 FDA 1991-2005
POLLOCK 0.031 0.003 0.089 ND 0.78 95 FDA 1991-2008
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALBACORE) 0.358 0.36 0.138 ND 0.82 43 FDA 1992-2008
TUNA (CANNED, ALBACORE) 0.35 0.338 0.128 ND 0.853 451 FDA 1991-2010
TUNA (CANNED, LIGHT) 0.128 0.078 0.135 ND 0.889 551 FDA 1991-2010
MARLIN * 0.485 0.39 0.237 0.1 0.92 16 FDA 1992-1996
BASS (SALTWATER, BLACK, STRIPED) [3] 0.152 0.084 0.201 ND 0.96 82 FDA 1991-2010
COD 0.111 0.066 0.152 ND 0.989 115 FDA 1991-2010
SABLEFISH 0.361 0.265 0.241 0.09 1.052 26 FDA 2004 - 2009
ORANGE ROUGHY 0.571 0.562 0.183 0.265 1.12 81 FDA 1991-2009
GROUPER (ALL SPECIES) 0.448 0.399 0.278 0.006 1.205 53 FDA 1991-2005
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Species Unknown) 0.415 0.339 0.308 0 1.3 120 FDA 1991-2010
SNAPPER 0.166 0.113 0.244 ND 1.366 67 FDA 1991-2007
BLUEFISH 0.368 0.305 0.221 0.089 1.452 94 FDA 1991-2009
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, YELLOWFIN) 0.354 0.311 0.231 0 1.478 231 FDA 1991-2010
HALIBUT 0.241 0.188 0.225 ND 1.52 101 FDA 1992-2009
MACKEREL SPANISH (Gulf of Mexico) 0.454 N/A N/A 0.07 1.56 66 NMFS REPORT 1978
MACKEREL KING 0.73 N/A N/A 0.23 1.67 213 GULF OF MEXICO REPORT 2000
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALL) 0.391 0.34 0.266 0 1.816 420 FDA 1991 - 2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, BIGEYE) 0.689 0.56 0.341 0.128 1.816 21 FDA 1991 - 2005
BASS CHILEAN 0.354 0.303 0.299 ND 2.18 74 FDA 1994-2010
SWORDFISH 0.995 0.87 0.539 ND 3.22 636 FDA 1990-2010
TILEFISH  (Gulf of Mexico) 1.45 N/A N/A 0.65 3.73 60 NMFS REPORT 1978
SHARK 0.979 0.811 0.626 ND 4.54 356 FDA 1990-2007

Source of data: FDA 1990-2010 , "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

Mercury was measured as Total Mercury except for species (*) when only Methylmercury was analyzed.

ND-mercury concentration below detection level (Level of Detection (LOD)=0.01ppm)
N/A-data not available

The following species have been removed from the tables:

  • Bass (freshwater) – not commercial
  • Pickerel – not commercial

‡Standard deviation data generated from data 1990 to 2010.

1Includes: Blue, King, Snow
2Includes: Flounder, Plaice, Sole
3Includes: Sea bass/ Striped Bass/ Rockfish

NOTE: 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.


Mercury Concentrations in Fish: FDA Monitoring Program

Page Last Updated: 10/08/2014
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