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Drum, Red, Wild-caught (also known as redfish)

Red drum (also called redfish) has moderate levels of mercury, which generally increase in proportion with the size of the fish.  Red drum may also contain some levels of PCBs, which can vary depending on the site at which the fish was caught.  Eating habits of red drum change with age, and although they feed on zooplankton and small invertebrates while young, as they get bigger, they tend to eat more and larger fish.  Although current size limits in all states help prevent exposure to high mercury content in the fish,  consumers should check for current warnings to determine safe consumption levels of this fish, in particular for pregnant women, those who may become pregnant and children: www.epa.gov/ost/fish

Red drum is a popular recreational fish that occurs along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts south to Key West, Florida. While the status of the stock has not been analyzed recently on the Atlantic Coast, it is believed to be overfished, and overfishing may still be occurring, as current size limits result primarily in the capture of immature juveniles.  Over 85% of annual catch is recreational; the only significant commercial fishery for red drum is in North Carolina, where it is only allowed as unintentional catch (bycatch). In the Gulf of Mexico no definition of “overfished” has been established for red drum and population levels are unknown. 

Understanding the Smart Seafood Guide

Read Understanding the Smart Seafood Guide online.

Methodology

Mercury and PCB contaminant information for the Smart Seafood Guide is drawn from Environmental Defense Fund’s Health Alert List. Environmental Defense calculates health advisories based on government databases and scientific studies. Read more.

* Disclaimer

These recommendations are intended as a general reference. They are not intended to provide specific medical advice, supplant any government warnings or otherwise prevent exposure to any health hazards associated with seafood. People should always follow proper acquisition, handling and cooking procedures of any seafood they prepare or consume.