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Year: 2021

The world population is rapidly growing with a strong need for new food supplies. As land-based resources are scarce, the contribution of sustainable food (and feed) from well-managed ocean resources is essential. Future gains in world marine capture and culture will have to come from expansion and production at lower trophic levels. Sustainability may not be judged based on trophic level alone, but by including the environmental impact of the value chain to consumption, via growth, harvest, processing and distribution. Hazardous substances such as organic pollutants and metals emitted to the ecosystem remain in seawater and sediments for decades, and may negatively impact harvested food items. The assessment of both the positive health impact of nutrients and the negative impact of contaminants is needed to produce healthy food. This proposal aims to investigate contaminants such as dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd),  lead (Pb) arsenic (As) and perfluorinated surfactants (PFAS) in lower trophic level marine food, feed and ingredient resources such as sea cucumber, Calanus finmarchicus and microalgae form the Northern environment. We will also look at trace element concentrations of selenium (Se) and iodine (I). The hypothesis is that contaminant concentrations are much lower than higher trophic species such as cod and salmon and that levels are below national and European maximum limits for consumption. The insight into the levels of the contaminants will fill an important knowledge gap of a larger strategic project SECURE and is an important step in developing novel safe food products.

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