U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Food
  3. Chemicals, Metals & Pesticides in Food
  4. Metals
  5. Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012)
  1. Chemicals, Metals & Pesticides in Food

Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012)

Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish (1990-2012)

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
SCALLOP 0.003 ND 0.007 ND 0.033 39 FDA 1991-2009
CLAM 0.009 0.002 0.011 ND 0.028 15 FDA 1991-2010
SHRIMP 0.009 0.001 0.013 ND 0.05 40 FDA 1991-2009
OYSTER 0.012 ND 0.035 ND 0.25 61 FDA 1991-2009
SARDINE 0.013 0.010 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) 0.014 0.010 0.021 ND 0.086 19 FDA 1993-2009
ANCHOVIES 0.016 0.011 0.015 ND 0.049 15 FDA 2007-2009
SALMON (FRESH/FROZEN) 0.022 0.015 0.034 ND 0.19 94 FDA 1991-2009
CATFISH 0.024 0.005 0.056 ND 0.314 59 FDA 1991-2010
SQUID 0.024 0.017 0.023 ND 0.07 36 FDA 2005-2009
POLLOCK 0.031 0.003 0.089 ND 0.78 95 FDA 1991-2008
CRAWFISH 0.033 0.035 0.012 ND 0.051 46 FDA 1991-2007
SHAD 0.038 0.033 0.045 ND 0.186 15 FDA 2007-2011
MACKEREL ATLANTIC (N.Atlantic) 0.05 N/A N/A 0.02 0.16 80 NMFS REPORT 1978
MULLET 0.050 0.014 0.078 ND 0.27 20 FDA 1991-2008
WHITING 0.051 0.052 0.030 ND 0.096 13 FDA 1991-2008
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
BUTTERFISH 0.058 N/A N/A ND 0.36 89 NMFS REPORT 1978
CRAB [1] 0.065 0.05 0.096 ND 0.61 93 FDA 1991-2009
CROAKER ATLANTIC (Atlantic) 0.069 0.06 0.049 ND 0.193 90 FDA 2002-2011
TROUT (FRESHWATER) 0.071 0.025 0.141 ND 0.678 35 FDA 1991-2008
HERRING 0.078 0.042 0.128 ND 0.56 27 FDA 2005-2012
HAKE 0.079 0.067 0.064 ND 0.378 49 FDA 1994-2009
JACKSMELT 0.081 0.05 0.103 0.011 0.5 23 FDA 1997-2007
MACKEREL CHUB (Pacific) 0.088 N/A N/A 0.03 0.19 30 NMFS REPORT 1978
WHITEFISH 0.089 0.067 0.084 ND 0.317 37 FDA 1991-2008
SHEEPSHEAD 0.090 0.08 0.050 ND 0.17 8 FDA 1992-2007
LOBSTER (Spiny) 0.093 0.062 0.097 ND 0.27 13 FDA 1991-2005
PICKEREL 0.095 0.091 0.100 ND 0.31 16 FDA 1991-2007
LOBSTER (NORTHERN / AMERICAN) 0.107 0.086 0.076 ND 0.23 9 FDA 2005-2007
CARP 0.110 0.134 0.237 ND 0.271 14 FDA 1992-2007
COD 0.111 0.066 0.152 ND 0.989 115 FDA 1991-2010
PERCH OCEAN 0.121 0.102 0.125 ND 0.578 31 FDA 1991-2010
TUNA (CANNED, LIGHT) 0.126 0.077 0.134 ND 0.889 545 FDA 1991-2010
BUFFALOFISH 0.137 0.12 0.094 0.032 0.43 17 FDA 1992-2008
SKATE 0.137 N/A N/A 0.04 0.36 56 NMFS REPORT 1978
TILEFISH (Atlantic) 0.144 0.099 0.122 0.042 0.533 32 FDA 1994-2004
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, SKIPJACK) 0.144 0.15 0.119 0.022 0.26 3 FDA 1993-2007
PERCH (Freshwater) 0.150 0.146 0.112 ND 0.325 19 FDA 1991-2007
MONKFISH 0.161 0.139 0.095 ND 0.289 11 FDA 1994-2007
LOBSTER (Species Unknown) 0.166 0.143 0.099 ND 0.451 71 FDA 1991-2008
SNAPPER 0.166 0.113 0.244 ND 1.366 67 FDA 1991-2007
BASS (SALTWATER, BLACK, STRIPED, ROCKFISH) [3] 0.167 0.094 0.194 ND 0.96 101 FDA 1991-2010
MAHI MAHI 0.178 0.18 0.103 ND 0.45 29 FDA 1991-2005
MACKEREL SPANISH (S. Atlantic) 0.182 N/A N/A 0.05 0.73 43 NMFS REPORT 1978
SCORPIONFISH 0.233 0.181 0.139 0.098 0.456 6 FDA 2006-2007
WEAKFISH (SEA TROUT) 0.235 0.157 0.216 ND 0.744 46 FDA 1991-2005
HALIBUT 0.241 0.188 0.225 ND 1.52 101 FDA 1992-2009
CROAKER WHITE (Pacific) 0.287 0.28 0.069 0.18 0.41 15 FDA 1997
TUNA (CANNED, ALBACORE) 0.350 0.338 0.128 ND 0.853 451 FDA 1991-2009
BASS CHILEAN 0.354 0.303 0.299 ND 2.18 74 FDA 1994-2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, YELLOWFIN) 0.354 0.311 0.231 ND 1.478 231 FDA 1993-2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALBACORE) 0.358 0.36 0.138 ND 0.82 43 FDA 1992-2008
SABLEFISH 0.361 0.265 0.241 0.09 1.052 26 FDA 2004-2009
BLUEFISH 0.368 0.305 0.221 0.089 1.452 94 FDA 1991-2009
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, ALL) 0.386 0.34 0.265 ND 1.816 420 FDA 1991-2010
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, Species Unknown) 0.410 0.334 0.308 ND 1.3 122 FDA 1991-2010
GROUPER (ALL SPECIES) 0.448 0.399 0.278 0.006 1.205 53 FDA 1991-2005
MACKEREL SPANISH (Gulf of Mexico) 0.454 N/A N/A 0.07 1.56 66 NMFS REPORT 1978
MARLIN 0.485 0.39 0.237 0.1 0.92 16 FDA 1992-1996
ORANGE ROUGHY 0.571 0.562 0.183 0.265 1.12 81 FDA 1991-2009
TUNA (FRESH/FROZEN, BIGEYE) 0.689 0.56 0.341 0.128 1.816 21 FDA 1993-2005
MACKEREL KING 0.73 N/A N/A 0.23 1.67 213 GULF OF MEXICO REPORT 2000
SHARK 0.979 0.811 0.626 ND 4.54 356 FDA 1991-2007
SWORDFISH 0.995 0.87 0.539 ND 3.22 636 FDA 1990-2010
TILEFISH (Gulf of Mexico) 1.123 N/A N/A 0.65 3.73 60 NMFS 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

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

‡Standard deviation data generated from data 1990 to 2012.

1Includes: Blue, King, Snow
2Includes: Flounder, Plaice, Sole
3Includes: Sea bass (black, Striped), 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. 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