The interactions between selenium (Se) and mercury (Hg) were assessed in order to interpret public health risk, associated with dietary mercury exposure due to fish consumption. For this purpose, the mass and molar concentrations of Se and Hg were determined in the edible tissues of six species of fish, collected from the commercial fishing grounds of Turkey. The Se/Hg molar ratios and selenium health benefit values (Se-HBVs) were also calculated. The main fish species exported from Turkey to Europe were studied to determine the risks or benefits for human health. The mean Hg levels (mu gg(-1), wet weight) ranged from 0.01 (in turbot) to 0.45 (in Atlantic bluefin tuna). The average selenium concentrations were between 0.96 mu gg(-1) (in thornback ray) and 1.86 mu gg(-1) (in turbot). The molar ratios of Se/Hg were above 1 for all species and greater than 100 in turbot, red mullet, and whiting. Positive Se-HBVs were determined for all samples, showing health benefits. Since Se is present in molar excess of Hg in the fish muscles, organic Hg exposures from eating these fish is not a public health concern.