Browsing by Subject "DIOXINS"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Pihlajamäki, Mia; Sarkki, Simo; Haapasaari, Päivi (2018)
    One of the objectives of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to increase the contribution of fisheries to fish food availability and self-sufficiency. Still, the use of catch is often a secondary concern in fisheries governance and management – or not a concern at all – while the focus is on harvesting. This paper examines how the use of forage fish for human consumption can be increased within the limits of sustainability, using Baltic herring as a case study. Baltic herring contains high levels of dioxins and the human consumption is very low: the catches are mostly used for industrial purposes. The paper uses a participatory backcasting exercise to define a desirable future vision for the use of Baltic herring catch and to develop pathways of actor-specific governance actions to increase the use of the fish as a safe-to-eat food. The results reveal that increasing the contribution of forage fish, such as Baltic herring, to food security entails a paradigm shift in fisheries governance that involves 1) inclusion of well-defined objectives for catch use in the EU CFP and the related regional multiannual plans, 2) broadening the scope of the MSY-driven governance and management to one that addresses catch use, and 3) proactive catch use governance.
  • Tuomisto, Jouni; Asikainen, Arja; Meriläinen, Päivi; Haapasaari, Päivi (2020)
    Background: Health risks linked with dioxin in fish remain a complex policy issue. Fatty Baltic fish contain persistent pollutants, but they are otherwise healthy food. We studied the health benefits and risks associated with Baltic herring and salmon in four countries to identify critical uncertainties and to facilitate an evidence-based discussion. Methods: We performed an online survey investigating consumers’ fish consumption and its motivation in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden. Dioxin and methylmercury concentrations were estimated based on Finnish studies. Exposure-response functions for several health endpoints were evaluated and quantified based on the scientific literature. We also quantified the infertility risk of men based on a recent European risk assessment estimating childhood dioxin exposure and its effect on sperm concentration later in life. Results: Baltic herring and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and the beneficial impact of these fishes on cardiovascular diseases, mortality, and the risk of depression and cancer clearly outweighs risks of dioxins and methylmercury in people older than 45 years of age and in young men. Young women may expose their children to pollutants during pregnancy and breast feeding. This study suggests that even in this critical subgroup, the risks are small and the health benefits are greater than or at least similar to the health risks. Value of information analysis demonstrated that the remaining scientific uncertainties are not large. In contrast, there are several critical uncertainties that are inherently value judgements, such as whether exceeding the tolerable weekly intake is an adverse outcome as such; and whether or not subgroup-specific restrictions are problematic. Conclusions: The potential health risks attributable to dioxins in Baltic fish have more than halved in the past 10 years. The new risk assessment issued by the European Food Safety Authority clearly increases the fraction of the population exceeding the tolerable dioxin intake, but nonetheless, quantitative estimates of net health impacts change only marginally. Increased use of small herring (which have less pollutants) is a no-regret option. A more relevant value-based policy discussion rather than research is needed to clarify official recommendations related to dioxins in fish.
  • Haapasaari, Päivi; Ignatius, Suvi; Pihlajamaki, Mia; Bryhn, Andreas; Sarkki, Simo; Tuomisto, Jouni T.; Ronkainen, Lauri; Lehikoinen, Annukka; Assmuth, Timo; Romakkaniemi, Atso; Peltonen, Heikki; Kuikka, Sakari (2021)
    The implementation challenge of ecosystem-based (fisheries) management (EB(F)M) has entailed calls for integrated governance (IG) approaches in the marine field. We arranged an expert workshop to study the preconditions and applicability of IG, and to suggest how IG could be arranged in practice. Focusing on the management of the dioxin problem shared by the herring and salmon fisheries in the Baltic Sea, and using a coupled ‘insight network’- SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) methodology, we evaluated two scenarios: 1) IG of herring and salmon fisheries to benefit from collaboration between these fisheries that suffer from the same problem, and 2) IG between the fisheries sector and the food/public health sector to incorporate food safety in fisheries governance. Our results demonstrate that a variety of societal, political, institutional, operational, instrumental, and biological factors affect the applicability of IG in marine contexts, and work as preconditions for IG. While societal needs for IG were obvious in our case, as major challenges for it we identified the competing cross-sectoral objectives, path dependencies, and limitations of experts to think and work across fields. The study suggests that establishing an IG framework by adding new aspects upon the current governance structures may be easier to accept and adapt to, than creating new strategic or advisory bodies or other new capacities. Viewing IG as a framework for understanding cross-sectoral issues instead of one that requires a defined level and form of integrated assessment and management may be a way towards social learning, and thereby towards the implementation of more sophisticated, open and broad EB(F)M frameworks.