Statens Næringsmiddeltilsyn (SNT), the Norwegian Food Control Authority, has asked the government for NKr10m (Ecu1.24m) in order to monitor fish and shellfish from 30 fjords and harbour basins for levels of heavy metals, PAHs, PCBs and other toxic pollutants. "We expect the work to take about two years," Gunnar Eriksen of SNT told ENDS Daily today. "The ministries of agriculture and health are considering the request at the moment." The sites chosen are known to have high levels of pollution; but "we do not yet know to what extent the high concentrations in the sea bed will appear in fish and shellfish," says SNT in its current newsletter, Nærkontakt. "We also have to determine what quantities of fish and shellfish from the local fjords are actually eaten." Mussels and crabs in particular can accumulate high concentrations of dioxins, cadmium and PAHs, so that even modest consumption will contribute "significantly" to the total intake of dietary pollutants. The heavily polluted fjords and harbours concerned take in the length of the country from Arendal in the south to the Arctic port of Hammerfest.
SNT, tel: +47 22 24 66 50.
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