The scope of monitoring the feed given to farmed fish has been significantly reduced in the course of the past few years. Now, a survey of everything that we already know about fish feed aims to remedy this situation.
On behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, NIFES carries out annual analyses of samples obtained from the fish-feed industry. In the course of the past few years, the number of samples analysed by NIFES has been drastically reduced. In 2006 790 random samples were taken; in 2010 the number was only 23, while in 2011, 25 samples of feed were analysed.
“Dialogue with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has led to agreement that these figures are too low. We are now going to revisit all our earlier monitoring activities and knowledge about fish feed,” says NIFES director of research Gro-Ingunn Hemre.
Laying foundations for the future
This will make it easier to see how problems have been reported, or whether challenges related to feed ingredients might emerge. A future feed monitoring programme will therefore enable the authorities to increase the sample amounts wherever large variations in composition exist, and reduce focus where few challenges have been reported.
“There is also a growing number of alternative raw materials in fish feed, and we need to find out whether these offer any challenges. What we are are going to do now will lay the foundations for planning fish-feed monitoring in the future,” says Hemre. It will also help us to utilise our available resources more efficiently by planning a monitoring programme that will be more in line with developments in the fish feed sector,” she adds.
More goal-oriented monitoring
In 2010, Norway produced 1 346 476 tonnes of fish feed, while last year production rose by 10 percent to 1 487 671 tonnes.
“The large volumes involved mean that we need to have more goal-oriented monitoring,” says Hemre.
None of the samples analysed in 2010 or 2011 exceeded the permitted limits for organic environmental toxins or heavy metals.
The purpose of the monitoring programme is to follow developments in the fish-feed sector and chart new risk factors that result, for example, from changes in feed composition. The information will be used in inspection planning of the feed industry. Knowledge of this sort will also be useful for documenting the content of various components of fish feed.
Contact: Gro-Ingunn Hemre
Phone: 481 85 035
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