Mercury is a heavy metal that exists in all seafood (not in freshwater lake fish). Some types of fish tend to absorb mercury more readily than others. You should in general try to stay with low mercury level fish, eating these fish twice a week. Keep the higher mercury level fish for only once a month or once every two month consumption.
Note that the mercury tends to gather in the fat of the fish, so avoiding the fat can help somewhat. Also, smaller fish tend to absorb less mercury than larger ones.
Low Mercury Levels
Medium Mercury Levels
High Mercury Levels
Mercury can cause nervous system disorders in adults, and can cause permanent damage in children. Pregnant and nursing mothers must be cautious about their mercury intake. For pregnant women, most doctors suggest guidelines of only eating a can of tuna a week, for example.
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