Which Fish Are High in Mercury – Everything You Need to Know

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Which Fish Are High in Mercury - Everything You Need to Know

Which Fish Are High in Mercury 

 

Fish with high mercury levels include king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, swordfish, tilefish, and ahi tuna. These types of fish are not good choices for small children.

While shark and marlin are high in mercury, there are also healthier alternatives such as white tuna and skipjack tuna. However, if you must eat these kinds of fish, you should first read the warning label to make sure that the fish is safe for your children.

 

Larger fish eat smaller fish

Why do larger species eat smaller ones? The answer varies with the species, but in general, bigger fish are more likely to be prey to other larger ones.

Many other animals, such as whales, seals, and bears, also feed on smaller fish.

Larger fish are prey to other larger species, and they may be predators of other types of fish. Although fish aren’t nocturnal, they may hide from their larger predators when the light is on.

Larger fish also prey on forage fish, which are small pelagic species that feed on a variety of foods. Their larger predators include other larger fish, seabirds, and other marine mammals. Even angelfish, which prefer tanks with other angelfish, often feed on small fish.

The reason why big fish eat small fish is that they cannot swallow their larger counterparts. Larger fish, on the other hand, have larger jaws and are thus better adapted to predation. They also eat their progeny and the early life stages of other predators.

Interestingly, the same theory holds true for smaller fish as well. In the wild, fish eat a variety of different things, from insects to plants.

 

Shark meat contains high levels of mercury

Several studies have documented that shark meat has high mercury concentrations.

Some have found that the meat contains up to eight grams of mercury per gram of meat.

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Other studies have shown that shark meat has a mercury concentration of 0.06 to eight.93 ug/g. Further studies are needed to determine the health effects of high mercury intake from shark meat. However, these current results are not conclusive. It is important to know what to avoid when eating shark meat.

The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has set a limit of 1.0 ug/g for methylmercury in fish. This limit is similar to those set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

While mercury concentrations in fish are generally assessed in the wet meat state, this is not the case with shark meat. Because it is usually frozen and consumed in a roasted or steamed dish, it is not possible to accurately measure its concentration in the aforementioned samples.

Pregnant women should not eat shark meat, as it contains high mercury levels. Not only does shark meat contain high levels of mercury, but it may also be harmful for the unborn baby.

Mercury exposure can damage the central nervous system and can interfere with the fetal development of the child. Hence, pregnant women and those with compromised body systems should not eat shark meat. But they should avoid shark meat in general.

 

White tuna and skipjack tuna are good alternatives to high mercury fish

Light tuna and skipjack are low-mercury alternatives to albacore tuna. These two types of tuna contain less mercury than albacore and should be eaten only twice a week. If you’re pregnant or nursing, avoid albacore tuna altogether.

The Environmental Working Group recommends eating 25% less of these types of fish if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. White tuna has the highest mercury content of all the tuna species.

Although all fish contain some mercury, canned light tuna and skipjack tuna contain about three times less mercury than canned albacore tuna and contains 125 parts per million.

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Even though all fish contains mercury, these varieties are not as high as albacore, which is trolled in coastal waters. For your child’s first month, you can introduce them to white or skipjack tuna sandwiches.

While skipjack and albacore are not abundant in U.S. waters, they are high in selenium and are emerging fish alternatives. They also rank favorably on the emerging fish consumption scale. In fact, selenium may be a potential counter to mercury.

While not all tuna are high in selenium, they’re a good option for those looking for an alternative to high-mercury fish.

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