Press release 2015-05-19

Whitefish monitoring programme off to a promising start

The Swedish Inland Fishermen’s Federation has commissioned IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute to develop a proposal for a self-monitoring programme for the whitefish fishery in Lake Vänern and Vättern.

The programme will provide guidelines for where, when and how fishing can be carried out to minimize the levels of dioxin-like compounds in the catch. Preliminary analyses of fish from Lake Vättern show promising results for commercial fishing.

County administrative boards around Lake Vänern and Vättern have decreed that those selling whitefish from these lakes must ensure that these fish contain lower levels of dioxin than are specified in the limits set by the EU. The reason for this is that whitefish is not among the species of fish for which Sweden has been granted a permanent exemption from EU rules regarding the sale of foods with elevated levels of dioxin.

The Swedish Inland Fishermen’s Federation, SIC, has therefore commissioned IVL to develop a proposal for a self-monitoring programme for the fishing industry. The programme will provide guidelines for where, when and how fishing can be carried out to minimize the levels of dioxin-like compounds in the catch. The first chemical analyses of fish from lake Vättern show that the threshold values of these compounds have not been exceeded.

– It is too early to draw any far-reaching conclusions on the basis of a few samples, however, we can conclude that our hypothesis that spawned, small whitefish from plankton-eating populations are able to stay below EU threshold values still holds, said Magnus Karlsson, Project Manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

– Should these findings be repeated our recommendation is to increase fishing pressure on this stock at this time of year, continues Magnus Karlsson, who also points out the importance of more fishermen joining the programme to ensure access to the sampling data necessary for a reliable evaluation.

More information about the monitoring program is available at the SIC website:
(http://www.insjofiskare.se/)

For more information, please contact:
Magnus Karlsson E-mail: magnus.karlsson@ivl.se
Phone: +46 (0)8-598 56 403