Mercury Levels in Salmon


Doctor Andy’s Wellness Corner
By: Andy Marrone, D.C.
Clinic Director,
Redmond Ridge Chiropractic

Farm Raised vs. Wild Salmon

In my office, I have a data card handout which was produced by a prominent fish oil manufacturer. One of my patients happened to pick one of these cards up and took it home. This patient’s expertise happens to be in environmental factors relating to fish populations here in the northwest.
On their next appointment, this patient approached me indicating that some of the data on the card was obsolete. When I inquired further, he went on to explain that while most of the data on the card was accurate, the statistics comparing mercury levels in farm raised salmon compared to wild salmon were incorrect and out of date. I explained to the patient that I love hearing things like that, but would like to see the research behind it. On his next visit, he brought in the research – and here it is.

According to the Washington State Dept. of Health, “both wild and farmed salmon have low levels of mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants”. The article goes on to state the major concerns with farm raised fish. These include the quality of imported Atlantic salmon eggs, population density of the farm and controlling disease outbreaks. Washington State has minimized these risks by sterilizing imported eggs, reducing broodstock populations, and by quarantining diseased fish as early as possible.

While early studies of farm raised salmon have reported high levels of mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants (much higher than their wild counterparts), follow-up studies have been unable to confirm this. Farmed salmon from Washington, Canada, Mane and Chile have shown to have contaminant levels as low as wild raised salmon. One of the major factors in this is the introduction of strict quality control regulations on feed ingredients for farm raised Salmon.

The study goes on to state that salmon is a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, and the quantity of both is the same between wild caught and farm raised salmon. While wild Salmon is a great choice, farm raised salmon is an excellent alternative.


After many years of clinical practice, Dr. Marrone has forged a remarkable career as a practitioner, educator and lecturer. His extensive knowledge of functional enzyme nutrition has made him a much sought after practitioner. If you are suffering from health problems that nobody seems to have the answer to, or are sick and tired of the revolving door approach of modern medicine, give Dr. Marrone a call to set up a consultation.