Fish & Mercury/PCB levels

Not-So-Fishy Fish Choices : A Chart for Mercury and PCB levels for Common Fish

This is a reference table to help us choose fish that has the highest Omega 3 fatty acids, along with the lowest toxic contaminants.

Looks like the winners are Anchovy, Herring, Mackerel and Wild salmons.

Omega-3 fatty acids and industrial contaminants in commonly eaten fish and shellfish.

Type EPA + DHA (mg/serving) (oz) EPA + DHA (mg/100 g) (3.5 oz) Mercury (µg/g) (ppm) PCBs (ng/g) (ppb)
Anchovy 1165 (2) 2055 < 0.05
Catfish, farmed 253 (5) 117 < 0.05 < 50
Cod, Atlantic 284 (6.3) 158 0.10
Fish burger (fast food) 337 (2.2) 546 < 0.05 8
Fish sticks, frozen 193 (3.2) 214 < 0.05
Halibut 740 (5.6) 465 0.25
Herring, Atlantic 1712 (3) 2014 < 0.05
Mackerel, Atlantic 1059 (3.1) 1203 0.05
Mackerel, King 618 (5.4) 401 0.73
Mahimahi 221 (5.6) 139 0.15
Pollock, Alaskan 281 (2.1) 468 < 0.05
Salmon, farmed 4504 (6) 2648 < 0.05 15–51
Salmon, wild 1774 (6) 1043 < 0.05 0.5–5
Sardines 556 (2) 982 < 0.05 22–57
Shark 583 (3) 689 0.99
Snapper 546 (6) 321 0.19
Swordfish 868 (3.7) 819 0.98
Trout 581 (2.2) 935 0.07 11
Tuna (light/skipjack) 228 (3) 270 0.12 45
Tuna (white/albacore) 733 (3) 862 0.35 100
Clams 241 (3) 284 < 0.05 2–3
Crab 351 (3) 413 0.09 6
Lobster 71 (3) 84 0.31
Mussels 665 (3) 782 < 0.15 0.8–7
Oysters 585 (3) 688 < 0.05 0.8–17
Scallops 310 (3) 365 < 0.05
Shrimp 267 (3) 315 < 0.05 0.2–2

DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid; EPA: Eicosapentaenoic acid; PCB: Polychlorinated biphenyls; ppb: Parts per billion; ppm: Parts per million.

Reference: Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA296(15), 1885–1899 (2006).

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