Use this chart to help you decide on the safest fish to eat. Be aware that the guidelines below depend on where you live and where your fish come from.

Species

Mercury Contamination Status

Environmental Status

Salmon

Harbor low levels of mercury when caught young.

Choose wild Alaskan salmon: coho, pink, chinook, and sockeye.

Halibut

Both Pacific and Atlantic halibut contain moderate to high levels.

Stick to Pacific halibut, which is most abundant.

Red Snapper

Moderate to high levels of mercury.

Red snapper is an exploited American catch that is now closely protected.

Rainbow Trout

Freshwater may contain higher levels than ocean-going.

This fish is widespread globally.

Tuna

A species with moderately high mercury levels.

Bluefin tuna is overfished. Choose yellowfin, albacore, and bigeye.

Crab

Blue crab tends to have lower mercury content than Dungeness.

Avoid the overfished Alaskan king crab.

Shrimp

Mercury levels in shrimp are almost undetectable. Stick to trap-caught spot shrimp and Northern shrimp from Newfoundland.

Harvesting methods for trap-caught spot shrimp and Northern shrimp from Newfoundland are least likely to trap other marine wildlife.

Oysters

Mercury levels in oysters are almost undetectable.

Avoid the wild Eastern oyster, as disease is limiting its supply. Try farmed Eastern oysters, Pacific, and European varieties.

Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Seafood; Environmental Defense Fund Pocket Seafood Selector (www.environmentaldefense.org).