Does Bass Fish Have Mercury?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

While eating fish has various health benefits, it is important to look out for certain components in fish that could be harmful. One of such is high mercury content which could cause damage to vital organs. So, looking at fish species, does bass fish have mercury?

Does Bass Fish Have Mercury?

Yes, bass fish do contain mercury. The mercury content in most of this species is around 0.167, which is low and safe to eat frequently. The exception is Chilean sea bass which has a somewhat high mercury concentration of 0.354 and you shouldn’t eat it as often.

A striped bass fish

Fish naturally contain mercury in varying concentrations, ranging from low levels in Black sea bass to high levels in swordfish and sharks. It is crucial to note, however, that these mercury amounts do not rule out the consumption of fish. It simply indicates that bass fish with high mercury levels should be eaten in moderation.

When it comes to bass, understanding which species have low and high mercury levels will help you decide which ones to consume and the frequency of consumption.

High Mercury Level Bass

The older the bass, the more likely it is to have high mercury content. However, cooking a bass fish with a high mercury percentage is not harmful to your health especially when you consume 1-3 servings each month. It only becomes hazardous to your health when you decide to increase consumption frequency. There is only one type of bass in this category: the Chilean Sea Bass.

Low Mercury Level Bass

Adults and children both benefit from consuming low-mercury bass. This must be done in moderation, with no more than six to eight servings per month. This category includes the following bass species:

It is vital to remember that, for pregnant women, newborns, or nursing moms, these fishes should be consumed only in minor proportions as it does offer benefits. If consumed in excess, it does more harm than good.

A close-up image of bass fish

Benefits of Eating Bass Fish

Bass that have low mercury levels isn’t all bad news. It does have certain benefits, especially in children such as being a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and aiding the development of cognitive fitness.

Development of Cognitive Fitness in Children

While too much mercury can impair cognitive fitness in people, particularly children, eating bass at least once a week helps youngsters, including unborn children, develop their brains.

This is why pregnant women are often advised to eat fish such as saltwater bass, black sea bass, and other sea delicacies since they help their baby’s cognitive development. However, only small portions are recommended as excessive eating could cause some harm.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating bass twice a week will provide your body with the omega-3 acids it requires for optimum health. The human body is incapable of producing Omega-3 fatty acids, as a result, it must be obtained from external sources, and bass has a good amount of these fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health by lowering blood pressure. They also protect against irregular cardiac rhythms as well as partial and complete strokes.

Eating low-mercury bass fish delivers these acids, ensuring that your body maintains a healthy brain, as well as vision and nerve development in unborn babies. Bass also provides Iron, Iodine, and Choline which are all necessary for the proper development of a fetus.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Bass Fish Accumulate Mercury?

Food consumption is how bass fish, like all other fish, collect mercury. When mercury enters the water, it is absorbed by algae, and bass, like other fish, eats algae, as do all other smaller fish, resulting in an accumulation of mercury that cannot be removed. The longer the bass lives, the more mercury it accumulates.

A bass fish

Can Adults Develop High Mercury Levels After Consuming Mercury-Containing Bass Fish?

Mercury levels can progressively rise in adults, becoming detrimental to their health. When mercury levels in humans are dangerously high, it can harm the brain and kidneys. Although mercury normally leaves the body via urine and fecal matter, eating bass fish with high mercury levels might take months to leave the body. This is why it is not recommended for women who desire to become pregnant or who are already pregnant, as it is harmful to the unborn child.

Which Fish Is Lowest in Mercury?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fish with the lowest mercury levels that make the “Best Choices” list include:

  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Clams
  • Catfish
  • Crawfish
  • Mullet
  • Flounder
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Haddock
  • Plaice


Indeed, bass fish contain levels of mercury. However, fishes generally contain mercury and this shouldn’t stop you from reaping the benefits of bass consumption. Just keep in mind that intake should be done in moderation.