• Metal and Organo-Chlorine Concentrations in Fin-Fish from Irish Waters in 1995

      Rowe, A; Nixon, E; McGovern, E; McManus, M; Smyth, M (Marine Institute, 1998-02)
      During 1995 a total of 44 samples taken from 16 different species of fin-fish were collected from five Irish fishing ports and analysed for total mercury content in the edible tissue, in accordance with the European Commission's Decision of 19 May 1993. The concentration of mercury ranged from 0.03 to 0.28 with a mean of 0.09µg/g wet weight. These levels are low and are well within the maximum limits set by the EC for mercury in fisheries products. This survey confirms previous studies that show Irish seafoods are effectively free from mercury contamination. In addition a number of samples were also analysed for cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, chromium and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Although there are no EU guidelines or standards for these additional contaminants, the levels are well below the strictest standards or guidance values applied by Contracting Parties of the Oslo and Paris Conventions.
    • Monitoring of Shellfish Growing Areas - 1994

      Nixon, E; McLaughlin, D; Rowe, A; Smyth, M (Department of the Marine, 1995)
      To fulfil the monitoring requirements of the 1979 Council Directive 79/923/EC on the water quality of shellfish waters, water and shellfish samples were collected from 19 major shellfish-growing areas and analysed for physicochemical parameters and chemical contaminants. At each site temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen measurements were made and the area was inspected for the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons. Water samples were collected for suspended solids determinations. A representative sample of the shellfish from each area was collected and returned to the laboratory for metal and chlorinated hydrocarbon analyses. As in previous years, the water quality was good and conformed to guidelines and requirements of the Directive. Petroleum hydrocarbons were not observed in any of the shellfish waters or as deposits on the shellfish. Chlorinated hydrocarbon levels were very low, evidence of the clean, unpolluted nature of Irish shellfish and shellfish producing waters. Mercury and lead levels were consistently low, however, levels of cadmium in oysters from a number of areas were above average but did not exceed the Dutch human consumption tolerance value. It is known that oysters accumulate metals more readily than mussels and, considering the remoteness of many of these areas, the elevated cadmium levels are not considered to be anthropogenic in origin.
    • Monitoring of Shellfish Growing Areas - 1995

      Smyth, M; Rowe, A; McGovern, E; Nixon, E (Marine Institute, 1997-08)
      In accordance with the monitoring requirements of the 1979 Council Directive 79/923/EC on the water quality of shellfish waters, water and shellfish samples were collected from 21 major shellfish-growing areas and analysed for physicochemical parameters and chemical contaminants. At each site temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen measurements were made and the area was inspected for the presence of visible petroleum hydrocarbons. Water samples were collected for suspended solids determinations. A representative sample of the shellfish from each area was collected and returned to the laboratory for metal and chlorinated hydrocarbon analyses. As in previous years, the water quality was good and conformed to guidelines and requirements of the Directive. Petroleum hydrocarbons were not observed in any of the shellfish waters or as deposits on the shellfish. Chlorinated hydrocarbon levels were very low, evidence of the clean, unpolluted nature of Irish shellfish and shellfish-producing waters. Mercury and lead levels were consistently low. Levels of cadmium in oysters from a number of areas were slightly elevated but did not exceed the Dutch human consumption tolerance value of 1mg/kg (ppm) wet weight.
    • Trace Metal and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Concentrations in Shellfish and Fin-Fish from Irish Waters - 1996

      Bloxham, M; Rowe, A; McGovern, E; Smyth, M; Nixon, E (Marine Institute, 1998-11)
      In accordance with the monitoring requirements of the 1979 Council Directive 79/923/EC on the quality of shellfish waters, water and shellfish samples were collected from 22 major shellfish growing areas and analysed for physicochemical parameters, trace metal levels and chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations. Fin-fish were also collected from five Irish fishing ports and analysed for total mercury content in compliance with the European Commission's Decision of 19 May 1993 on mercury in fisheries products. Selected samples of fin-fish were also analysed for trace metal and chlorinated hydrocarbon concentration. As there are no generally accepted European standards for the concentration of these contaminants in shellfish or fin-fish, the levels were compared with the available standards and guidance values compiled by the Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR) countries for human consumption. As in previous years, the water quality from shellfish growing areas was good and conformed to the guidelines and requirements of the Directive. Petroleum hydrocarbons were not observed in any of the shellfish waters or as deposits on the shellfish. Chlorinated hydrocarbon levels were very low, evidence of the clean, unpolluted nature of Irish shellfish and shellfish producing waters. Trace metal levels were consistently low with the exception of lead in mussel tissue from Wexford Harbour, which was elevated, and cadmium in oyster tissue, which was slightly elevated in some samples but did not exceed the Dutch human consumption tolerance value of 1.0mg/kg. The concentration of mercury in fin-fish selected from catches at Irish fishing ports ranged from 0.02 to 0.27µg/g wet weight. These levels were well within the maximum limits set down in the EC Decision for mercury in fisheries products. Chlorinated hydrocarbon and trace metal levels were also very low in fish tissue. This survey confirms previous studies that show Irish fishery products are effectively free from trace metal and chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination.