The USDA recommends Americans eat at least two servings of seafood every week. Most of us turn to tuna – canned or otherwise – and cod. Fish tacos and fish and chips? Yes, please!

But now researchers find mercury levels in these popular seafood options are on the rise thanks to overfishing and climate change. Scientists say the findings call for stronger mercury and greenhouse gas emissions regulations.

“Climate change is going to exacerbate human exposure to [mercury] through seafood, so to protect ecosystems and human health, we need to regulate both mercury emissions and greenhouse gases,” Harvard University environmental chemist Elise Sunderland, who led the new research, said in a press release.

Mercury Rises

Mercury gets into fish by way of the air. Coal combustion, gold mining and cement production as well as forest fires and volcanoes emit mercury into the atmosphere. The oceans absorb this airborne mercury, and microorganisms convert the metal into a form called methylmercury. […]