With the red tide, radiation, sewage, and tons of other pollutants constantly spilling into the world's waterways, it's unsurprising that the quality of the fish we put on our dinner table is affected. Since seafood is one of the most popular eats in the Sunshine State, it's no wonder that the Florida Health Department actually has a fish advisory chart letting consumers know what fish are at the highest risk of contamination.
According to the most recent update, there are several different coastal fish on the list because of their mercury content levels.
For otherwise healthy consumers, Snowy Grouper, Blackfin Tuna, Shark (all species less than 43 inches), Almaco Jack and Cobia are all listed as species recommended to eat no more than once a month. Pregnant women, those of child-bearing age and young children are advised to avoid these fish altogether.
Meanwhile, there are over 50 fish in total on the chart that should not be consumed too often within a month. Some ranging from being fine to consume upwards of twice a week to "do not eat" at all.
As you can see from the screenshot above, any type of Shark above 43" should not be eaten by anyone. This is just a short screenshot, but the entire list can be viewed in full here.
Fish is generally considered a safe source of protein, with many species low in mercury contamination. According to the Health Department's website, adults, including pregnant women, should be eating about 8 ounces a week, with an emphasis on low mercury fish.
Examples of low-mercury-containing seafood include but are not limited to farm-raised catfish, clam, cod, crab, flounder, haddock, herring, mullet, cooked oyster, pollock, scallop, shrimp, squid, tilapia or canned skipjack or light tuna (canned skipjack or light), the website suggests.
To learn more about seafood contaminates, click here.
This list does not include local freshwater fish, but that can be found here.
Cover photo for illustrative purposes.