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Top 15 Low and High Mercury Fish: Safe for Kids and Pregnant Women

October 20, 2017

Mercury | GlobalSeafoods

Top 15 Low Mercury Fish

Nutrition experts often recommend seafood for kids and pregnant mothers since it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, and proteins. Despite being a rich source of nutrients, studies show that some types of seafood contain mercury, a substance that can impair the development of fetus’ nervous system. Mercury has a similar effect for kids aged below six years. 



Fish High In Mercury

Ideally, all seafood contains mercury. However, some seafood has high levels of mercury while some have minute levels. Some of the fish and seafood with high mercury levels include: 

• Shark • Swordfish

• Tilefish • King mackerel


high mercury fish

Is halibut high in mercury? Halibut mercury level is classified as fish with mid-range mercury levels. This means that they should be consumed at low levels. Other seafood ranked in this category include:

Top 15 Fish Low in Mercury

1. Salmon

Salmon is favorite because of its rich nutritional profile. Some of the nutrients found in salmon include selenium, biotin, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and proteins. Does salmon have mercury like other seafood? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies salmon under the fish with a very low mercury levels category. This implies that the salmon mercury levels are safe to fish to eat for pregnant mothers and young children. 


2. Catfish

Catfish is a group of fish with prominent whisker-like barbels. Some of the common types of fish classified under the catfish category are: • Piraiba found in South America • Mekong giant catfish found in Southeast Asia• Wels catfish found in EurasiaThis seafood is rich in proteins, vitamin B-12, phosphorus, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, zinc, and fat. Catfish mercury levels are low.

3. Mullet

Mullet is found in coastal temperate and tropical waters. This fish is characterized by a triangular mouth and separate dorsal fins. Mullet is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B-9, sodium, Vitamin B-3, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Moreover, mullet is rich in zinc, iron, vitamin B 5, B1, and B2.

4. Herring

low mercury fish

Herring is a type of fish that move in a group. They are usually found in the Atlantic Ocean, South America's south coast, North Pacific, and Baltic Sea. Like most fish herrings are rich sources of Omega- 3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Zinc, iron, and Vitamin B-12. Moreover, herring are rich in magnesium, and proteins.

5. Anchovies

Anchovies are small fish which are commonly found in the Mediterranean and Black sea. These fish are also found in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. Anchovies have a slender body, a blunt snout, and they are green in color with silver and blue reflections. These fish are rich in omega 3 fats, calcium, protein, iron, and zinc. 

Pollock is a North Pacific marine fish that can grow up to 3.44 feet. In appearance, the fish looks greenish black with a silvery latex line. Its belly is white or grayish, and they usually move in a school. 

Fish Pollock

This type is prepared as a white fishmeal, and it is rich in proteins, heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B12, and selenium. Pollock mercury level is low.

7. Crayfish

Crayfish are also known as mountain lobsters due to their lobster-like appearance. In most case, these fish are found in freshwater bodies, swamps, and stream. In appearance, crayfish are covered in muted greens and browns, and its body is divided into a cephalothorax, segmented abdomen, and jointed legs. They are rich in b vitamins, protein, and traces of carbohydrates, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.

8. Haddock

Haddock is found in salty water bodies like the North Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It is distinguished by its black line and a dark blotch above the pectoral fin. An adult haddock can grow to a size of 1.1 meters. Haddock seafood is rich in potassium, sodium, fat, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Haddock mercury levels are low.

9. Sardine

Sardines are small oily fish that usually move in large schools. They have a flat body covered with silvery scales. Sardines are found in warm water on the coasts of India, Indonesia, California, and Japan. As food, they are usually grilled or canned. Sardines are rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, calcium, vitamin B2, iron, proteins, and calcium. Sardine mercury levels are low.

10. Hake

Hake are deep-sea fish, majorly found in the North East Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans waters. Hake spend most of their daytime near the seabed, and at night they move to the water surface. It is one of the seafood delicacies in Europe due to its medium flake delicious white meat. They are rich in proteins, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, sodium, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

11. Tilapia 

Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is commonly found in freshwater bodies like lakes, ponds, and streams. They have protruding mouths with swollen lips and a long dorsal fin. Some of the nutrients provided by tilapia seafood include low-calorie proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. 

12. Oysters

low-mercury fish

Oysters are soft water molluscs which thrive in salty marine water. Oysters are rich in proteins, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B- 12, zinc, potassium, vitamin C, sodium, copper, and selenium. 

13. Freshwater perch

As its name suggests, freshwater perch is found in freshwater bodies like lakes, ponds, and rivers. They are characterized by paired pectoral and pelvic fins, and a rough, scaly body. Depending on species, the freshwater perch can be greenish or yellowish with silvery reflections. It is rich in phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron, proteins, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids.

14. Trout

Trout are often found in cool freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, and ponds. Depending on the location and species trout can have different colorations and patterns. They are distinguished by their fins without spines. Some of the nutrients found in this fish are sodium, calcium, iron, proteins, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. 

15. Whitefish

Whitefish is a fishery term that refers to multiple fish species like Cod, whiting, and Caspian kutum. Most of these fish low in mercury species live on the sea floor, and their flesh is white. Seafood prepared from white fish is rich in proteins, fats, sodium, potassium, vitamins, selenium, magnesium, and calcium.


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