Can you eat swordfish?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat swordfish?” and discuss fishes rich in mercury?

Can you eat swordfish?

No, you cannot eat swordfish. Swordfish, unfortunately, have the highest mercury content of any edible big fish. Pregnant women, women who want to get pregnant, and young children should avoid eating shark, mackerel, and tilefish, according to the FDA.

Swordfish consumption is limited to a few times per year.

Frank advises people in these categories to have no more than two 3-ounce servings of seafood each week. The FDA, on the other hand, advises against eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. They advise not eating it more than once a month if possible.

Is mercury a problem while eating swordfish?

Swordfish, tilefish, ahi, and bigeye tuna are some of the more common fish that have been shown to be high in mercury. These fish should not be consumed by any pregnant or nursing women or those who intend to get pregnant within the next year. Children under the age of six should also do this. Tuna should be eaten in moderation.

When it comes to swordfish, is it okay to consume it?

With a high concentration of the mineral selenium, swordfish is a good source of both cancer-fighting and heart-healthy benefits. Niacin, vitamin B12, zinc, and Omega-3 are all abundant in this high-protein food. Most importantly, it’s fat-free and calorie-limited. A swordfish is also a good option since it’s low in fat.

Is it okay to eat swordfish if you’re a vegetarian?

Swordfish. Using a practice known as longline fishing, swordfish has been overfished, according to Reid. Because a boat may drag a baited line for kilometers, it endangers other creatures. Another marine life is at risk as a result of all of the fishing lines.

What Makes Swordfish So Unappetizing?

In addition to being a naturally occurring element, mercury is also a result of industrial undertakings that enters water systems via precipitation and snowmelt or by runoff from industrial sites (via The United States Geological Survey).

It may cause serious health issues in people, such as renal and neurological difficulties. If you’re exposed to too much mercury, you might die (via The World Health Organization).

Eating fish is one way people get mercury into their bodies. Mercury is ingested by fish when they swim in mercury-contaminated waterways, and since it lingers in their systems, huge fish that feed on smaller fish end up with higher levels of mercury than fish farther down the food chain.

For example, swordfish, a predatory fish, is a popular food because of its meaty, steak-like consistency (via the Spruce Eats). Swordfish is often used in grill dishes that call for a robust, hearty fish since it isn’t flaky and delicate.

Swordfish have high levels of mercury.

There is no surprise that they reside at the top of the food chain and eat much smaller fish, which have in turn absorbed tiny levels of mercury since they may grow up to 1,400 pounds and 15 feet long (via Oceana).

Swordfish have mercury content.995 parts per million, which may seem little, but it places it second on the FDA’s list of mercury-containing seafood. Atlantic mackerel and pollock both have.050 parts per million of mercury, but pollock had only.031.

The good news is that eating swordfish just once in a while is not fatal. For the mercury content in swordfish to have any effect on your health, you would have to eat mostly swordfish. Pregnant women are advised to avoid eating high-mercury seafood such as swordfish since it harms growing fetuses more than it affects adults.

Here are some of the fish with the highest levels of mercury contamination.

There are several reasons why mercury makes its way into water systems. When burning fossil fuels or rubbish, or when there are forest fires, this naturally occurring mineral, which may leach into water from soil and rocks, is released into the atmosphere (via The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services). 

After then, ash particles or rain carry it to water bodies. In the event that mercury makes its way into the water, aquatic microorganisms will take up the mercury, which is then consumed by little fish. The mercury in fish binds to the protein and accumulates throughout the course of the animal’s life. There is no way to eliminate mercury from fish even after cleaning or cooking it.

For this reason, it’s safe to assume that bigger fish have more mercury than smaller ones. Mercury levels in the flesh of fish such as tuna and swordfish are quite high (via NCDHHS).

To learn more about eating swordfish click here


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat swordfish?” and we discussed fishes rich in mercury?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.