Icelandic seafood has long been marketed so that emphasis has been placed on its purity and wholesomeness. However, it is not enough to claim that a product is healthy. High-quality and well-defined scientific data on undesirable substances in Icelandic seafood are key factors in demonstrating the status of Icelandic seafood in terms of safety and health. Icelandic food exports also depend on being able to demonstrate their safety, taking into account laws, regulations and market requirements.
In recent report Matís summarizes the results of monitoring of undesirable substances in edible parts of seafood in 2019. The monitoring began in 2003 with the help of the then Ministry of Fisheries, the current Ministry of Industry and Innovation, and Matís ohf. on the collection of data and the publication of reports for this systematic monitoring during the period 2003-2012. In recent years, there has been a lack of funds to continue work on this monitoring project, and therefore this important data collection was suspended as well as the publication of results in the period 2013-2016. The project started again in March 2017, but due to a lack of funds, it now only covers the monitoring of undesirable substances in edible parts of seafood from the resource intended for human consumption, and not fishmeal and fish oil for feed. For the same reason, no chemical analyzes were performed on PAH, PBDE and PFC substances this time.
In general, the results obtained in 2019 were in line with previous results from 2003 to 2012 as well as 2017 and 2018. The results showed that Icelandic seafood contains an insignificant amount of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins, PCBs and pesticides.
Scientific data of this kind from an independent researcher on the concentration of undesirable substances in seafood is very important in market presentations of seafood for potential buyers and strengthens all marketing work for Icelandic seafood. The data are also used to demonstrate the status of Icelandic seafood in terms of safety and health, as well as in food risk assessments.