Farmed salmon with wounds and deformities illegally shipped out of Norway

Editorial Staff

In 2021, roughly 10.5% of Norwegian farmed salmon exhibited wounds and deformities, a number that increased to around 11.5% in 2022.

Fish suffering from wounds, deformities and other effects have been illegally exported from Norway according to a recent investigation by the country’s Food Safety Authority.

The inspection campaign was initiated due to concerns from the industry itself, with reports of an increasing number of wounded fish, rising issues related to the export of such fish, and numerous returns from abroad due to misdirected fish.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority recently conducted 49 inspections aimed at assessing fish quality in the industry, and the results have raised concerns. Out of these inspections, 18 highlighted the need for additional guidance on complying with regulatory requirements, while eight instances led to official notifications.

These regulations aim to ensure that consumers receive high-quality fish and fish products while upholding the reputation of Norwegian farmed fish both domestically and internationally.

Elisabeth Wilmann, the Director of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, expressed her worry about the findings. She pointed out that these inspections have revealed that many businesses are failing to meet the established fish quality regulations. What’s particularly alarming is the discovery that farmed fish with wounds and deformities are being exported, a clear violation of the regulations.

The regulations, outlined in the Fish Quality Regulation §17, dictate that farmed fish must be sorted within the country to ensure that fish with wounds, deformities, significant processing errors, or internal quality defects are not sold for human consumption.

Such fish can only be directed to establishments equipped for corrections or those engaged in the production of various marine ingredients for human consumption, such as fishmeal, fish protein hydrolysate, fish oil, cod liver oil, and more.

In 2021, roughly 10.5% of farmed salmon exhibited wounds and deformities, a number that increased to around 11.5% in 2022. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s campaign in spring 2023 brought to light several challenges within the farming industry, particularly concerning fish with winter sores.

The inspection reports highlighted deviations primarily related to labeling, error correction, and tracking. These issues included problems like small print on labels, missing markings on boxes of fish with wounds, and inadequate error corrections. Additionally, fish with wounds were often shipped abroad without undergoing proper error rectification.

In light of these findings, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has urged the industry to adhere to comprehensive industry standards that outline regulatory requirements, further reinforcing the integrity of Norwegian farmed fish.


Related Articles