40 High-Protein Fish: Which Provide the Most?

In the context of food, the term ‘fish’ includes a wide variety of finfish consumed as seafood.

Fish is one of the major sources of protein in the human diet, and most fish are rich in protein. However, the protein content can vary depending on the specific type of fish, with some being exceptionally protein-rich.

This article explores the protein content in common fish and identifies which varieties provide the most.

The following 40 common fish are ranked based on their protein content per 100 grams when cooked.

All nutritional data is sourced from the USDA’s FoodData Central Database.

Several Varieties of Protein-Rich Fish: Haddock, Salmon, and Cod.

1) Cod, Atlantic, dried

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 80g piece
62.8 g50.2 g

For the highest protein content, dried fish, which has had its moisture removed, will always offer the most protein per gram.

Cod tops the list for protein in terms of common dried fish products, providing 62.8 grams per 100 grams (1).

2) Bluefin tuna, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
29.9 g25.4 g

Bluefin tuna is among the species of fish with the highest protein content, offering 29.9 grams per 100 grams (2).

See how the different varieties of tuna compare nutritionally to see how considerably tuna can differ.

3) Yellowtail, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 146-gram 1/2 fillet
29.7 g43.4 g

Yellowtail is another excellent option, providing 29.7 grams of protein per 100 grams (3).

4) Yellowfin tuna, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
29.2 g24.8g

Yellowfin is another high-protein fish, providing 29.2 grams per 100 grams (4).

5) Anchovies, canned in oil

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 45-gram can
28.9 g13.0 g

Anchovies may be small, but they are packed with protein, offering 28.9 grams per 100 grams (5).

For anyone seeking more information on this fish, see this full nutritional guide to anchovies.

6) Skipjack tuna, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 154-gram 1/2 fillet
28.2 g43.4 g

Skipjack tuna is another excellent fish for protein, offering 28.2 grams per 100 grams (6).

7) Coho salmon, wild, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 155-gram 1/2 fillet
27.4 g42.5 g

Among the different types of salmon, wild coho salmon has the highest protein content.

Per 100 grams it provides 27.4 grams (7).

For more on salmon, see this guide to the different varieties.

8) Trout, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 62-gram fillet
26.6 g16.5 g

Trout is another of the best high protein fish options, with each 100 grams containing 26.6 grams of protein (8).

9) White tuna, canned, drained

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 178-gram can
26.5 g47.2 g

Drained white tuna from a can offers 26.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (9).

10) Sockeye salmon, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 155-gram 1/2 fillet
26.5 g41.1 g

100 grams of cooked sockeye salmon provides 26.5 grams of protein (10).

11) Snapper, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 170-gram fillet
26.3 g44.7 g

Snapper typically contains 26.3 grams of protein per 100 grams (11).

12) Milkfish, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
26.3 g22.4 g

With 26.3 grams of protein per 100 grams, milkfish is another of the most protein-dense fish (12).

13) Tilapia, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 87-gram fillet
26.2 g22.8 g

Tilapia is a commonly consumed protein-rich fish, offering 26.2 grams per 100 grams (13).

14) King mackerel, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 154-gram 1/2 fillet
26.0 g40.0 g

King mackerel is among the fish species with the highest protein content at 26.0 grams per 100 grams (14).

However, it is worth being aware that King mackerel has one of the highest mercury concentrations among common fish (15).

15) Sheepshead, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 186-gram fillet
26.0 g26.0 g

Sheepshead fish typically provide 26 grams of protein per 100 grams (16).

16) Chinook salmon, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 154-gram 1/2 fillet
25.7 g39.6 g

Chinook is another high-protein variety of salmon, offering 25.7 grams per 100 grams (17).

17) Bluefish, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 117-gram fillet
25.7 g30.1 g

Bluefish is a common fish species that provides a good source of protein at 25.7 grams per 100 grams (18).

18) Atlantic salmon, wild, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 154-gram 1/2 fillet
25.4 g39.1 g

Wild Atlantic salmon has a protein content of 25.4 grams per 100 grams (19).

19) Smoked haddock

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
25.2 g21.4 g

Among the different haddock products available, smoked haddock provides the most protein per gram.

A 100-gram serving of smoked haddock has 25.2 grams of protein (20).

Cod and flounder are similar lean white fish with a high protein content.

20) Pollock, Atlantic, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 151-gram 1/2 fillet
24.9 g37.6 g

Atlantic pollock typically offers 24.9 grams of protein per 100 grams (21).

21) Perch, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 46-gram fillet
24.9 g11.5 g

Perch has an average protein content of 24.9 grams per 100 grams (22).

22) Striped mullet, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 93-gram fillet
24.8 g23.1 g

Striped mullet is a saltwater fish with a good protein content of 24.9 grams per 100 grams (23).

23) Burbot, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 90-gram fillet
24.8 g22.3 g

Burbot are a protein-rich freshwater fish, providing 24.8 grams of protein on a 100-gram basis (24).

24) Grouper, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 202-gram fillet
24.8 g50.1 g

Grouper are a saltwater fish with a protein content of 24.8 grams per 100 grams (25).

25) Northern pike, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 155-gram 1/2 fillet
24.7 g38.3 g

The Northern pike is a large fish that provides 24.7 grams of protein per 100 grams (26).

26) Sardines, canned in oil, drained

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 92-gram can
24.6 g22.6 g

Sardines are another protein-rich canned fish option, delivering 24.6 grams of protein per 100 grams (27).

27) Pink salmon, canned, drained

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 242-gram can
24.6 g59.5 g

Per 100 grams, canned pink salmon has the same protein content as canned sardines: 24.6 grams (28).

28) Herring, kippered

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 65-gram fillet
24.6 g16.0 g

Kippered herring fillets are also known as ‘kippers’ and offer a good source of protein with 24.6 grams per 100 grams (29).

See this nutritional guide to kippers for more information on what kippers are.

29) Tilefish, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 150-gram 1/2 fillet
24.5 g36.8 g

Tilefish is another large protein-rich fish and it provides 24.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (30).

However, it is worth being aware that tilefish has one of the highest mercury concentrations among fish (31).

30) Whitefish, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 154-gram fillet
24.5 g37.7 g

Whitefish typically contains 24.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (32).

31) Bass, freshwater, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 62-gram fillet
24.2 g15.0 g

Cooked freshwater bass has a protein content of approximately 24.2 grams per 100 grams (33).

32) Atlantic mackerel, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 88-gram fillet
23.8 g15.0 g

Not only is Atlantic mackerel an oily fish rich in omega-3, but it also provides a good level of protein.

Each 100 grams has a protein content of 23.8 grams (34).

33) Rainbow trout, farmed, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 71-gram fillet
23.8 g16.9 g

Farmed rainbow trout contains 23.8 grams of protein per 100 grams (35).

34) Eel, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 159-gram fillet
23.6 g37.5 g

Eel has 23.6 grams of protein per 100 grams (36).

For more information on this lesser-known fish, see this guide to eel.

35) Sea bass, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 101-gram fillet
23.6 g23.8g

Per 100 grams, cooked sea bass provides 23.6 grams of protein (37).

36) Whiting, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 72-gram fillet
23.5 g16.9g

100 grams of cooked whiting provides 23.5 grams of protein (38).

37) Swordfish, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 106-gram piece
23.4 g24.8 g

Once again, it is good to be aware that swordfish is a high-mercury fish (39).

However, it’s relatively high in protein, providing 23.4 grams per 100 grams (40).

38) Herring, Atlantic, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 143-gram fillet
23.0 g32.9 g

Atlantic herring boasts a protein content of 23 grams per 100 grams (41).

39) Carp, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 170-gram fillet
22.9 g38.9 g

100 grams of cooked carp has a protein content of 22.9 grams (42).

40) Cod, Atlantic, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 180-gram fillet
22.8 g41.0 g

There is 22.8 grams of protein in each 100 grams of cooked Atlantic cod (43).

Shellfish High in Protein

Shellfish can also be an excellent source of protein; here are the varieties with the highest protein content per 100 grams.

Whelk, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
47.7 g40.5 g

Whelk is a gastropod shellfish, a type of sea snail.

It has a high protein content, with each 100 grams providing 47.7 grams (44).

Cuttlefish, mixed species, cooked

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
32.5 g27.6 g

Cuttlefish is another popular shellfish that provides high protein levels.

100 grams of cuttlefish offers 27.6 grams of protein (45).

Octopus, cooked, moist heat

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g) serving
29.8 g25.3 g

Octopus has a protein content of 29.8 grams per 100 grams (46).

Spiny lobster, cooked, moist heat

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 163-gram lobster
26.4 g43.0 g

The spiny lobster is a small crustacean shellfish. It typically offers 26.4 grams of protein per 100 grams (47).

Conch, baked or broiled

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 127g cup
26.3 g33.4 g

Conch is another type of gastropod shellfish. Like other members of this group, it provides a high amount of protein.

A 100-gram portion of cooked conch offers 26.3 grams of protein (48).

Clams, mixed species, cooked, moist heat

Protein per 100 gramsProtein per 3oz (85g)
25.6 g21.8 g

100 grams of cooked clams typically provide 25.6 grams of protein (49).

What Fish Has the Most Protein?

As indicated in this article, the fish with the highest protein content per 100 grams include dried cod, bluefin tuna, yellowtail, and yellowfin tuna.

However, in addition to absolute protein content, we should consider the typical serving size and expense of each fish.

For example, wild-caught salmon may be high in protein, but you can buy a lot more canned sardines for less money.

Additionally, some fish portions may be much larger than others. For instance, burbot has a higher protein density than carp. However, a typical 170-gram carp fillet will provide significantly more protein than a 90-gram fillet of burbot.

Overall, every fish in this article provides a high level of protein, and personal preferences and affordability are important factors in selecting the right option.

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.