Crab tends to have relatively low mercury levels compared to fish like tuna and halibut. Up to six 6-ounce servings of dungeness, snow, and blue crabs can be eaten per month. By comparison, 6-ounce servings of bluefin tuna and halibut should only be consumed up to three times per month. According to the site I listed below, fish like marlin and mackerel should be avoided because of high levels of mercury. I would guess that crabs have lower amounts of mercury in them because they are lower on the food chain, whereas larger predatory types like sharks have more because mercury bioaccumulates.
The reason why some fish like Ahi and Swordfish are so high in mercury is because they eat so many smaller fish that also have mercury in them. This term is called “bioaccumulation”. The mercury found in fish is stored in their fat tissues, so the fatter the fish, the more potential mercury that it can hold. “Normal” levels of mercury in fish, crab, etc. depend on the animal species, location, food source, and many other factors.
Although crab and shrimp don’t have high mercury levels like other top predator fish, they definitely have the potential to harbor toxic levels if eaten in large enough quantities.
Currently the highest levels of mercury (as reported by the FDA) are found in the King Mackerel, Sharks, Swordfish, and Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico).
See this link provided by the FDA for actual measurements: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm.
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