Food

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

See also Mercury Concentrations in Fish: FDA Monitoring Program

SPECIES

MERCURY CONCENTRATION (PPM)

NO. OF
SAMPLES

SOURCE OF DATA

MEAN

MEDIAN

STDEV

MIN

MAX

ANCHOVIES 0.017 0.014 0.015 ND 0.049 14 FDA 2007-2010
BASS (SALTWATER, BLACK, STRIPED)3 0.152 0.084 0.201 ND 0.960 82 FDA 1991-2010
BASS CHILEAN 0.354 0.303 0.299 ND 2.180 74 FDA 1994-2010
BLUEFISH 0.368 0.305 0.221 0.089 1.452 94 FDA 1991-2009
BUFFALOFISH 0.137 0.120 0.094 0.032 0.430 17 FDA 1992-2008
BUTTERFISH 0.058 N/A N/A ND 0.36 89 NMFS REPORT 1978
CARP 0.110 0.134 0.099 ND 0.271 14 FDA 1992 - 2007
CATFISH 0.025 0.005 0.057 ND 0.314 57 FDA 1991-2010
CLAM * 0.009 0.002 0.011 ND 0.028 15 FDA 1991-2010
COD 0.111 0.066 0.152 ND 0.989 115 FDA 1991-2010
CRAB 1 0.065 0.050 0.096 ND 0.610 93 FDA 1991-2009
CRAWFISH 0.033 0.035 0.012 ND 0.051 46 FDA 1991 -2007
CROAKER ATLANTIC (Atlantic) 0.065 0.061 0.050 ND 0.193 57 FDA 2002 - 2009
CROAKER WHITE (Pacific) 0.287 0.280 0.069 0.180 0.410 15 FDA 1997
FLATFISH 2* 0.056 0.050 0.045 ND 0.218 71 FDA 1991-2009
GROUPER (ALL SPECIES) 0.448 0.399 0.278 0.006 1.205 53 FDA 1991-2005
HADDOCK (Atlantic) 0.055 0.049 0.033 ND 0.197 50 FDA 1991-2009
HAKE 0.079 0.067 0.064 ND 0.378 49 FDA 1994-2009
HALIBUT 0.241 0.188 0.225 ND 1.520 101 FDA 1992-2009
HERRING 0.084 0.048 0.128 ND 0.560 26 FDA 2006-2009
JACKSMELT 0.081 0.050 0.103 0.011 0.500 23 FDA 1997-2007
LOBSTER (NORTHERN / AMERICAN) 0.107 0.086 0.076 ND 0.230 9 FDA 2005-2007
LOBSTER (Species Unknown) 0.166 0.143 0.099 ND 0.451 71 FDA 1991-2008
LOBSTER (Spiny) 0.093 0.062 0.097 ND 0.270 13 FDA 1991-2005
MACKEREL ATLANTIC (N.Atlantic) 0.050 N/A N/A 0.020 0.160 80 NMFS REPORT 1978
MACKEREL CHUB (Pacific) 0.088 N/A N/A 0.030 0.190 30 NMFS REPORT 1978
MACKEREL KING 0.730 N/A N/A 0.230 1.670 213 GULF OF MEXICO REPORT 2000
MACKEREL SPANISH (Gulf of Mexico) 0.454 N/A N/A 0.07 1.56 66 NMFS REPORT 1978
MACKEREL SPANISH (S. Atlantic) 0.182 N/A N/A 0.05 0.73 43 NMFS REPORT 1978
MARLIN * 0.485 0.390 0.237 0.100 0.920 16 FDA 1992-1996
MONKFISH 0.181 0.139 0.075 0.106 0.289 9 FDA 2006-2008
MULLET 0.050 0.014 0.078 ND 0.270 20 FDA 1991-2008
ORANGE ROUGHY 0.571 0.562 0.183 0.265 1.120 81 FDA 1991-2009
OYSTER 0.012 ND 0.035 ND 0.250 61 FDA 1991-2009
PERCH (Freshwater) 0.150 0.146 0.112 ND 0.325 19 FDA 1991-2007
PERCH OCEAN * 0.121 0.102 0.125 ND 0.578 31 FDA 1991-2010
POLLOCK 0.031 0.003 0.089 ND 0.780 95 FDA 1991-2008
SABLEFISH 0.361 0.265 0.241 0.090 1.052 26 FDA 2004 - 2009
SALMON (CANNED) * 0.008 ND 0.017 ND 0.086 34 FDA 1992-2009
SALMON (FRESH/FROZEN) * 0.022 0.015 0.034 ND 0.190 94 FDA 1991-2009
SARDINE 0.013 0.010 0.015 ND 0.083 90 FDA 2002-2010
SCALLOP 0.003 ND 0.007 ND 0.033 39 FDA 1991-2009
SCORPIONFISH 0.233 0.181 0.139 0.098 0.456 6 FDA 2007 - 2008
SHAD AMERICAN 0.045 0.039 0.045 0.013 0.186 13 FDA 2007-2010
SHARK 0.979 0.811 0.626 ND 4.540 356 FDA 1990-2007
SHEEPSHEAD 0.093 0.088 0.059 ND 0.170 6 FDA 2007 - 2009
SHRIMP * 0.009 0.001 0.013 ND 0.050 40 FDA 1991-2009
SKATE 0.137 N/A N/A 0.04 0.36 56 NMFS REPORT 1978
SNAPPER 0.166 0.113 0.244 ND 1.366 67 FDA 1991-2007
SQUID 0.023 0.016 0.022 ND 0.070 42 FDA 2005-2010
SWORDFISH 0.995 0.870 0.539 ND 3.220 636 FDA 1990-2010
TILAPIA * 0.013 0.004 0.023 ND 0.084 32 FDA 1991-2008
TILEFISH (Atlantic) 0.144 0.099 0.122 0.042 0.533 32 FDA 2002-04
TILEFISH (Gulf of Mexico) 1.450 N/A N/A 0.650 3.730 60 NMFS REPORT 1978
TROUT (FRESHWATER) 0.071 0.025 0.141 ND 0.678 35 FDA 1991 -2008
TUNA (CANNED, ALBACORE) 0.350 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
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALBACORE) 0.358 0.360 0.138 ND 0.820 43 FDA 1992-2008
TUNA(FRESH/FROZEN, ALL) 0.391 0.340 0.266 0.000 1.816 420 FDA 1991 - 2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, BIGEYE) 0.689 0.560 0.341 0.128 1.816 21 FDA 1991 - 2005
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, SKIPJACK) 0.144 0.150 0.119 0.022 0.260 3 FDA 1993 - 2007
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, YELLOWFIN) 0.354 0.311 0.231 0.000 1.478 231 FDA 1991-2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Species Unknown) 0.415 0.339 0.308 0.000 1.300 120 FDA 1991-2010
WEAKFISH (SEA TROUT) 0.235 0.157 0.216 0.000 0.744 46 FDA 1991-2005
WHITEFISH 0.089 0.067 0.084 ND 0.317 37 FDA 1991-2008
WHITING 0.051 0.052 0.030 ND 0.096 13 FDA 1991-2008

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: 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.


Mercury Concentrations in Fish: FDA Monitoring Program

Page Last Updated: 08/08/2014
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.