A school of Pacific sardines at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photo: Adam Fagen, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.


Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, particularly harmful to young children and developing fetuses. Mercury is commonly present in fish, but in wildly different concentrations based on the life history of the species. What local fish species are safe to eat and at what amounts?

Humboldt Baykeeper is there to help. With the help of fisheries biologist and EcoNews guest Ross Taylor, Humboldt Baykeeper tested 70 fish across nine species to examine mercury concentrations. Their results? Long-lived species that eat high on the food web have the highest concentrations and should be avoided by those most sensitive to mercury. Other seafood, like salmon, oysters and clams, are good for eating often because of their extremely low levels.

Want to know if your fish is safe? Download Baykeeper’s one-page summary here.

You can also download the full report, Mercury Testing of Sport/Food Fishes from Nearshore Ocean Waters of Humboldt County, California.


“The EcoNews Report,” June 19, 2021.