Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that can disrupt brain function and harm the nervous system. It’s especially threatening to pregnant women and young children. As a general rule, smaller fish—think squid, scallops, sardines—contain less mercury than larger varieties like tuna and swordfish, which are higher up the food chain.
Why's that? Because when bigger fish eat smaller ones, the predators also absorb their prey's contamination in a process known as biomagnification. So when a tuna eats a bunch of anchovies, the tuna is accumulating the mercury of those anchovies into its own body.
LEAST MERCURY Enjoy these fish Anchovies Butterfish Catfish Clam Crab (Domestic) Crawfish/Crayfish Croaker (Atlantic) Flounder Haddock (Atlantic) Hake Herring Jacksmelt (Silverside) Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub) Mullet Oyster Plaice Pollock Salmon (Canned) Salmon (Fresh) Sardine Scallop Shrimp Sole (Pacific) Squid (Calamari) Tilapia Trout (Freshwater) Whitefish Whiting
Eat six servings or less per month
Bass (Saltwater, Striped, Black)
Tuna (Canned chunk light, Skipjack)
Eat three servings or less per month
Croaker (White Pacific)
Halibut (Atlantic, Pacific)
Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
Sea Bass (Chilean)
Tuna (Albacore, Yellowfin)