Fish Species You Should Avoid Eating


Fish is one of the healthiest, naturally occurring food for humans and a great source of protein with some like salmon, tuna, and sardines delivering healthy omega 3 fats. Unfortunately, fish can also be toxic, and inflammatory to your body. It all depends on the fish you choose. Having knowledge of which fish species is good for you can really help although it can be hard to identify them. Additionally, due to fossil fuel emission, and heavy metal like mercury winding up in the water, they affect the fish. The effects of this contamination on seafood can cause devastating effects on human health. Therefore, you need to learn which types of fish you should completely avoid eating.

Orange Roughy

Orange roughy has been so overfished that they are close to being extinct. Despite their ability to live long, they reproduce slowly making them more vulnerable. Orange roughy can live to be 150 years old and their sex maturity age is 20 years. According to Oceana, they may take a half-century or longer before they can recover from previous reproduction due to the long lifespan and late maturity. Plus, they tend to be high in mercury as a result of the accumulation of toxins for a longer time.


Sharks are the largest sea predators and they are on the list of never-to-eat fish. Due to the long food chain, they are higher in mercury levels and you should avoid them both in food and supplements. Apart from that, sharks are depleting since most of their species are slow to mature and have fewer offspring.

Also, fewer sharks in the ocean mean more cownose rays and jellyfish. As result, rays eat scallops which are a good source of food for humans. This places the coastal community on an economic strain.


Beluga sturgeon, also called caviar fish, are highly sought for their eggs making them susceptible to overfishing. Moreover, the entire species is being threatened by the increase in dam building that pollutes the water they live in. This fish can live for over 100 years and can carry several hundred pounds of eggs making it worth up to $3,500 pounds.

According to Oceana, beluga sturgeon are the most valuable fish in the world to fishermen. The fish have disappeared from several rivers/seas where they used to live and it’s highly vulnerable to extinction across the entire range.


Atlantic Bluefin has been overfished to a point that many restaurants are not accepting it in their menu. However, hard to say no to Bluefin fish when it appears in sushi menu. Fisheries managers are still allowing commercial fishing which targets this fish to continue due to high demand for sushi. Bluefin population is collapsing with just 2.6 percent population levels.

Atlantic bluefish sushi menu alternatives include katsuo tuna fish caught through pacific troll. Besides that, bluefish is a predator hence it has high levels of mercury which makes it another reason to avoid it.

Imported King Crab

About 75 percent of king crab sold in the US comes from Russia where there is no protection and the fishery is being overharvested. Be sure that the crab you’re ordering is from Alaska since the crabs there are protected by US fisheries. Avoid labeling that says “imported” and “Alaskan” since those fish might be from Russia.

Chilean Sea Bass

Originally known as Patagonia toothfish, this fish is common on menus around America. The species has been overfished leaving it in serious trouble. The nonprofit Greenpeace estimates that unless people stop fishing Chilean, the entire species could become commercially extinct within five years. In addition to that, Food and Water Watch’s guide considers these fish high in mercury as well.


Unlike Bluefin or shark, swordfish poses no threat to extinction. The main reason you should avoid it’s because of the mercury elevated levels the fish contain. As a matter of fact, the mercury levels in swordfish are so high that the Environmental Defense Fund using Environmental Protection Agency guidance recommends that women and children should avoid it altogether. However, for men, they should not eat more than one serving per month.


There are multiple reasons why you should avoid eating certain fish species. Some of the reasons being overfishing and mercury toxins. Whichever the reasons, you should avoid fish above at all cost.

All images via Pixabay


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