Low Levels of mercury Found in Crab Samples

16 January 2012, at 12:00am

NORWAY - In a recent survey by NIFES, fish and crab samples taken from the area near the wreck of the submarine U-864 outside Fedje were found to contain low levels or mercury.

In general, the mercury found is of a low concentration. No crab samples in 2011 showed concentrations above the EU limit value for human consumption. The findings therefore do not affect food safety. however, it is not recommend for pregnant women and children to eat seafood from the area around the wreck.

Analyses from 2005 to 2011 show that the content of mercury in crabs caught near the submarine wreck is considerably higher than levels measured in studies from other places along the coast. The concentrations of mercury in crab samples were slightly lower than in the years of 2004-2008, but higher than in 2009 and 2010. This is probably related to seasonal variations.

When it comes to fish (bream), the researchers so far do not determine any connection between mercury in fillets and pollution from the wreck of the submarine.

The German submarine U-864 may have had 60 to 70 tons of metallic mercury in its load when it was lowered by a British submarine west of Fedje in February 1945. The wreck was located in 2003. Samples were taken in the sediments around the wreck and showed a high concentration of mercury.