A recent report reveals that in 2011, cod livers from the Ølenfjord contained high levels of PCBs.
On behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, NIFES analysed levels of PCBs and pesticides in the livers of 92 cod, and heavy metals concentrations in fillets of the same fish. The tests were performed on cod sampled at four different positions in and around the Ølenfjord. Two sites were near the head of the fjord and one at its mouth, while the fourth was at a reference point outside the fjord.
The results show that the fish captured furthest up the fjord had high levels of PCB in their livers, and were above the upper permitted limits for these substances.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has issued a general food advisory that counsels against eating liver from fish taken in the Norwegian archipelago, but not for cod from the open sea.
“Our new data do not indicate any need to suggest further measures,” says NIFES chief scientist Robin Ørnsrud.
. Photo: NIFES.
No metals beyond limits
Undesirable heavy metals were analysed in samples of fillets from cod taken at all the sites. PCBs and pesticides were analysed in five pooled samples from the same fish and positions.
Somewhat elevated levels of all the pesticides were found in the samples from the eastern part of Ølenfjord, close to farming areas. At present, there are no upper limits for pesticides in seafood in the EU.
The results of the analyses for heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead were within the permitted limits. Somewhat elevated levels of cadmium were found in the fillets from Ølsvågen, near the head of the fjord, but these did not give rise to concern with regard to permissible concentrations.
Cadmium in cod from Bodø to be studied
Ølenfjord lies at the opening of the Hardangerfjord in Sunnhordaland. There is a relatively high level of industrial activity in the area around the fjord. Ølenfjord was selected as an area of focus on the basis of input from local food safety authorities.
This year, NIFES is continuing to analyse levels of cadmium in cod from the area around Bodø in northern Norway.
Contact: Robin Ørnsrud
Phone: +47 913 43 345
Filer til nedlasting • Rapport Overvåkning av forurensede fjorder og havner 2011 (13082012).pdf 645,8 kb