Aquaculture for all

Weekly Overview: New Study Examines Antibiotics in US Seafood

Health Sustainability Food safety & handling +2 more

ANALYSIS - A new study by Arizona State University researchers is examining the persistence of antibiotics in seafood raised by aquaculture.

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The study looked at the top 10 most consumed seafood species in the US and found the presence of five antibiotics.

The results showed oxytetracycline in farmed tilapia, salmon and trout, 4-epioxytetracycline in farmed salmon, sulfadimethoxine in farmed shrimp, ormetoprim in farmed salmon and virginiamycin in farmed salmon that had been marketed as antibiotic-free.

Oxytetracycline, the most commonly used antibiotic in aquaculture, was the most prevalent in the study samples and it was also detected in a sample of wild shrimp. The researchers noted that this result may be due to mislabelling, coastal pollution from sewage contamination or cross-contamination during handling and processing.

Despite the findings, all seafood analysed was found to be in compliance with US FDA regulations.

The European Commission has now adopted a series of discard plans as it gets ready for the discard ban which comes into effect on 1 January 2015 under the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The five discard plans contain some practical rules, as well as a limited number of exemptions, to help fishermen adhere to the new rules.

In order to help fight the deadly Oyster Mortality Syndrome, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to allow Australian Seafood Industries (ASI) to collect a levy which will enable research into developing oyster spat with resistance to disease.

The levy will be collected from oyster growers who purchase Pacific oyster spat from hatcheries. The levy will commence at A$2.80 per 1000 spat. ASI seeks authorisation to collect the levy for a period of up to ten years.

"An industry-wide levy is an efficient way to fund important research that seeks to protect Australian Pacific oyster growers from the potentially devastating impact of POMS," ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.