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High Levels of PCBs in Cod Liver from Lensfjord

Cod Water quality Sustainability +7 more

NORWAY - There are high levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in cod liver in Lensfjord, according to a new report for 2011.

Lucy Towers thumbnail

On behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (FSA), NIFES has investigated 92 cod for the content of PCBs and pesticides in the liver, and heavy metals in the fillets.

The samples were made up of cod from four different positions in the len fjord area. Two places at the head of Lensfjord, one at the mouth of the bay, and a reference point outside Lensfjord.

The results show that fish caught from the two places at the head of Lensfjord had high levels of PCBs in the liver, and was over the limit.

The FSA has general dietary advice that discourages eating the liver of self-caught fish in the archipelago in Norway, except the cod from the open sea.

"Our new data shows no need to advise on measures other than this," says Robin rnsrud, research director at NIFES.

Unwanted heavy metals were analysed in individual samples of fillets of cod caught from the various positions. PCBs and pesticides were analysed in the liver of five pooled samples from the same fish and positions.

Samples of unwanted metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead were below the limit. Typically there is so little cadmium in cod fillets that one can not measure it.

Lensfjord sits at the mouth of the Hardanger fjord. There is relatively high industrial activity in the area surrounding the bay and therefore, Lensfjord was chosen as the focus area.

This year work by NIFES will map the content of cadmium in cod around Bodo.