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Geographical Investigation for Chemical Contaminants in Seafood Collected from UK Marine Waters and Coastline

Institutions
FERA - Food and Environment Research Agency
Start date
2013
End date
2015
Objective

A list of ‘higher risk’ species will be prepared. These will generally be oily fish and those that have been shown to contain raised contaminant levels in previous surveys. Samples will be collected during research vessel cruises and these will be supplemented by samples purchased at Billingsgate fish market (where information about the catch location is accessible). This is a two-year project and the first year will be used, among other things, to identify any sampling gaps or difficulties.

Samples will be supplied to the Food and Environment Research Agency. They will be tested for the contaminants currently limited under Commission Regulation 1881/2006 as amended, notably heavy metals, dioxins and PCBs. Selected samples will also be tested for contaminants identified as emerging risks from other FSA research projects, or newly listed compounds and candidates for listing under the Stockholm Convention or Substances of Very High Concern under the REACH regulations. Examples include brominated flame retardants, new dioxins, perfluorinated compounds and polychlorinated naphthalenes.

Where there is evidence for higher contamination in samples from specific locations, local circumstances will be examined for any contaminant sources that could be mitigated.

More information

Background: Previous surveys for contaminants in fish and shellfish have generally been targeted at the retail level. Although non-compliances are rare, there is variability in contaminant levels even within the same fish species. Currently we have limited information about variability in background pollution levels in different locations and how they might impact on levels in seafood. Under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which aims to pull together a range of regulations, codes of practice, licensing systems and initiatives impacting on the marine environment, Good Environmental Status will be defined by a series of descriptors. Descriptor 9 (D9) states that food produced in the marine environment is safe for human consumption. This project will generate data to provide a baseline for D9. It will include contaminants under investigation as emerging risks as well as those that are currently regulated under EU legislation.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS102005
Categories
Chemical Contaminants
Dioxins, Furans, PFCs, and PCBs
Legislation and Regulations