Q:

Is shark meat good for you?

A:

Quick Answer

Shark meat is not entirely healthy, as it can contain high levels of mercury. According to a report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2004, shark was classified along with tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish as containing high levels of mercury. The EPA report went on to advise people not to eat shark.

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Full Answer

A previous report from CNN noted that the mercury levels in shark meat can cause blindness, loss of coordination and death. Out of 124 sharks sampled by the Mote Marine Laboratory's Center for Shark Research, around a third contained mercury levels in concentrations higher than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's action level. The FDA, EPA and World Health Organization require that shark meat contain warning labels concerning the dangers of mercury and heavy metals in the meat.

Most health organizations warn that women of childbearing age and children should not eat shark meat at all, and that others should consume no more than one ounce per month. Sharks measuring more than 43 inches in length, according to the Florida Department of Health, should not be used for meat at all. This is due to the fact that sharks can live for 50 years or longer, and the older and larger the shark, the more mercury it can contain and the more detrimental the consumption of the shark can be to human health.

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