National monitoring of residues in farmed fish shows full compliance

Residue Testing

The results of the National Residue Control Plan (NRCP) for 2014, recently published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, show, that for the ninth consecutive year, there was full compliance in farmed finfish, with no positive test results for target residues.

During 2014, the Marine Institute carried out just over 700 tests and a total of 1,882 residues measurements on 136 samples of farmed finfish, in accordance with the NRCP, for a wide range of chemical substances; including banned and unauthorised substances (e.g. dyes and steroids), various authorised veterinary treatments and environmental contaminants. The aquaculture sector remains fully compliant, with no positive test results for farmed finfish in the period 2006-2014.

The National Residue Control Plan, approved annually by the European Commission, is an important component of food safety controls undertaken by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Since 1999, the Marine Institute has implemented the National Residues Monitoring Programme for aquaculture, under a service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. This is carried out on behalf of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, which is the responsible organisation for residue controls on farmed finfish.

Like other livestock-rearing sectors, fish farmers may use authorised veterinary medicines and treatments to control disease and infestation. By obliging member states to implement national residue control plans, the EU Residues Directive (96/23) ensures that animal and animal products pose no threat to consumers and that good practice is adhered to on farms.

A new report providing results for the testing of residues in farmed finfish for the period 2012-'14 is available here.

Further information on the Residues Programme is available here.