Dioxins concentrations in Baltic Sea salmon and herring in Finland exceed EU limits. Both Finland and Sweden have been granted temporary exemptions valid through 2011 that allow for the sale of fish with higher dioxin levels.
Dioxins concentrations have not been declining, as has been hoped, and Finland is now considering increasing catches in order to reduce the level of tainted fish. The plan is to catch the fish at an earlier stage of development when they have absorbed fewer environmental toxins. If dioxin levels cannot be brought down to EU-acceptable levels, Finland will have to consider a further extension of its exemption.
The news was first reported by the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
Over 80% of the dioxin Finns are exposed to comes from fish. Most of the dioxin in the Finnish environment came from use in the sawn goods industry. The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira recommends that children, adolescents and people in their fertile years do not eat herring over 17 cm in length more that once or twice a month.