By , Ecologist and the founder and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network

A new study by a large number of international scientists indicate that high level of mercury are still found in tuna and have not changed much over the past 50 years.

Tuna remains one of the most popular seafoods, popular with kids and adults alike.  In general larger and long-lived fish, such as tuna, have the highest level of methylmercury because mercury accumulates in their bodies over time as they eat smaller fish and grow.  

Pregnant women, women thinking about becoming pregnant in the future and small children are at highest risk of harm from methylmercury because it  can be passed from mother to fetises affecting developing nervous systems.

Mercury gets into ocean ecosystems primarily when it is released from burning coal and other fossil fuels.

Scientists warn much more aggressive emission reduction targets are needed to prevent catastrophic climate disruption and to start the long haul of lowering tuna and other seafood mercury levels.

The researchers in this study used data from nearly 3,000 tuna muscle samples of fish caught in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans from 1971 to 2022.

To estimate what your mercury exposure from eating seafood is, Turtle Island has created a simple online Mercury Calculator that can be found at


Programs: Oceans

Topics: Mercury