Reports

Results of continuous monitoring of undesirable substances in seafood from the resource 2017 / Undesirable substances in seafood - results from the Icelandic marine monitoring activities in the year 2017

Published:

17/01/2018

Authors:

Sophie Jensen, Natasa Desnica, Erna Óladóttir, Branka Borojevic, Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir

Supported by:

Atvinnuvega- og nýsköpunarráðuneytið / Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture

contact

Sophie Jensen

Project Manager

sophie.jensen@matis.is

Results of continuous monitoring of undesirable substances in seafood from the resource 2017 / Undesirable substances in seafood - results from the Icelandic marine monitoring activities in the year 2017

This report summarizes the results of monitoring of undesirable substances in edible parts of seafood in 2017. 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, so this important data collection was suspended as well as the publication of results in the period 2013-2016. in edible parts of seafood from the resource intended for human consumption, but not fishmeal and fish oil for feed. For the same reason, no chemical analyzes were performed on PAH, PBDE and PFC substances this time. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the position of Icelandic seafood in terms of safety and health and to use the data in the risk assessment of food to ensure the interests of consumers and public health. The project builds a knowledge base on the amount of undesirable substances in economically important species and marine products, it is defined as a long-term project where monitoring and review is constantly necessary. In general, the results obtained in 2017 were in line with previous results from 2003 to 2012. The results showed that Icelandic seafood contains an insignificant amount of persistent organic pollutants such as dioxins, PCBs and pesticides. EU maximum levels for dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) in food and feed were lowered on 1 January 2012 (EU Regulation No. 1259/2011) and maximum levels were set for "non-dioxin-like" PCBs (NDL-PCBs) for the first time ). The new maximum values are used in this report to assess how Icelandic seafood meets EU requirements. The results for 2017 show that despite the change in maximum levels for dioxins, DL-PCBs and NDL-PCBs, all samples of marine products for human consumption are below the EU maximum levels for persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals. The concentration of so-called ICES6-PCBs turned out to be low in the edible part of fish, compared to the new EU maximum values. The results also showed that the concentration of heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) in Icelandic seafood was always below the EU maximum values.

This report summarizes the results obtained in 2017 for the screening of various undesirable substances in the edible part of marine catches. The surveillance program began in 2003 and was carried out for ten consecutive years before it was interrupted. The project was revived in March 2017 to fill in gaps of knowledge regarding the level of undesirable substances in economically important marine catches for Icelandic export. Due to financial restrictions the surveillance now only covers screening for undesirable substances in the edible portion of marine catches for human consumption not feed or feed components. The limited financial resources also required that the analysis of PAHs, PBDEs and PFCs were excluded in the surveillance, and therefore this report provides somewhat more limited data than previously. However, it is considered to be a long-term project where extension and revision is constantly necessary. The main aim of this project is to gather data and evaluate the status of Icelandic seafood products in terms of undesirable substances and to utilize the data to estimate the exposure of consumers to these substances from Icelandic seafood and risks related to public health. Generally, the results obtained in 2017 are in agreement with previous results on undesirable substances in the edible part of marine catches obtained in the monitoring years 2003 to 2012. The results show that the edible parts of Icelandic seafood products contain negligible amounts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as; dioxins, dioxin like PCBs and pesticides. As of January 1st 2012 Commission Regulation No 1259/2011, regarding maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuff came into force. This amendment to the existing regulation (No 1881/2006) resulted in changes in maximum levels for dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs for many food products due to changes in toxicological assessment of dioxins. Furthermore, maximum levels for non-dioxin-like PCBs have now been established in foodstuffs. In this report, we use these revised maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and nondioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs to evaluate how Icelandic seafood products measure up to limits currently in effect. The results obtained year 2017 reveal that all samples of seafood for human consumption were below EC maximum levels for POPs and heavy metals. Furthermore, the concentration of ICES6-PCBs was found to be low in the edible part of fish muscle, compared to the maximum limits set by the EU (Commission Regulation 1259/2011). The results showed that the concentrations of heavy metals, eg cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) in Icelandic seafood products was always well below the maximum limits set by EU.

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Reports

Mercury and other undesirable trace elements in brown trout (Salmo trutta trutta L.) from Lake Thingvallavatn

Published:

01/12/2009

Authors:

Jóhannes Sturlaugsson, Hrönn Ólína Jörundsdóttir, Franklín Georgsson, Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir

Supported by:

Orkuveita Reykjavíkur's Environment and Energy Fund (UOOR), Matís ohf, Laxfiskar ehf

contact

Franklin Georgsson

Strategy & Stakeholders

franklin.georgsson@matis.is

Mercury and other undesirable trace elements in brown trout (Salmo trutta trutta L.) from Lake Thingvallavatn

The aim of the project was to obtain information on the amount of mercury and other undesirable trace elements in Þingvallaurrið, taking into account their size and prehistory with human nutrition in mind. That goal also meant that the results should be communicated to the public as well as stakeholders in the Þingvellir area. The study was conducted in collaboration with Matís and Laxfiskar. A total of 43 trout in the size range of 23-98 cm and 0.13‐14 kg were studied. The trout covered by the study were caught in the years 2002-2008. For some of them, information from traditional labels was available. In addition, samples were taken from several fish that had a prehistory that was recorded in detail with measuring instruments in terms of their behavior and environment. The results of these studies on the behavioral ecology of the fish showed that some of them sought to stay by hot springs that flow into Þingvallavatn below Nesjahraun. Biological factors of the fish such as size, age, sex, sexual maturity, etc. were recorded for each individual and samples taken from the flesh and trace elements analyzed. The results of trace element analyzes of the fish's flesh show that there is a considerable probability that fish longer than 60 cm will contain more mercury than is permitted by Icelandic and European regulations (0.5 mg / kg mercury). According to the recommendations of the Food Administration (MAST), which is an official regulator of food in Iceland, it is not permitted to sell fish that contain more than 0.5 mg / kg of mercury. The results of the study showed that there was a strong correlation between the length of the trout and the amount of mercury in it. Biomagnification is the most likely reason for the high concentration of mercury in trout from Þingvallavatn, which usually become rather large and old, as the concentration of mercury increases as it moves up the food chain. Þingvellir trout is at the top of the food chain, where it eats most of its age, mainly char, primarily the brown variety. It is desirable that further research be carried out in this field to get a picture of the origin of mercury in the Þingvellir landslide and the process of its accumulation.  

The aim of the project was to study the occurrence and quantity of mercury as well as other undesirable trace elements in brown trout from Lake Thingvallavatn in relation to the fish size and their life history. Public health was the main issue of this study. The aim was also to disseminate the results to the public and all stakeholders. The study was carried out in co ‐ operation of Matis and Salmon and Trout Research (Laxfiskar). In total, 3 brown trout individuals, 23‐98 cm long and weighing 0.13‐14 kg, were examined. The trout were caught during the years 2002 to 2008. Information from conventional tagging studies were available for some of the individuals. For six fish additional detailed results from studies on their behavior and corresponding environment was available, due to use of electronic tags (data storage tags and ultrasonic tags). These studies on the behavioral ecology of the trout showed that some of the individuals preferred areas where hot spring water runs into Lake Thingvallavatn at the Nesjahraun area. Individuals were measured and examined in order to get information on their size, condition and life history. Flesh samples were taken from the fish for trace element analyzes. The results of the study show that there is a positive linear relationship between the mercury concentration and the fish length. These analytical results showed that there is significant probability that fish that is 60 cm in length or larger, can contain mercury in quantity that exceeds the maximum allowed limit according to Icelandic and European regulations (0,5 mg / kg mercury). According to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), food products containing mercury in higher concentration than 0,5 mg / kg should not be sold or distributed. Biomagnification is presumed to be the cause for high concentration of mercury in the bigger and older brown trout from Lake Thingvallavatn as the results show that brown trout is a top predator in Lake Thingvallavatn and feeds mainly on charr (Salvelinus alpinus L.), especially the pelagic morph murta. Further research is needed on the origin of mercury in brown trout in Lake Thingvallavatn and on the route of the corresponding biomagnifications in the food chain of the lake.

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