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Testing of marine environment (FOI)

Testing of marine environment (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 26 March 2018.



What testing for pollutants, chemicals, and hazardous substances is undertaken on Jersey commercial marine species caught and consumed locally, and, or exported, for the following species Bass, Grey Mullet, Mackerel, Lobster, Brown Crab, Spider Crab, Whelks?


If data is available on the mentioned species, has it shown an increase or decrease in levels since tests were started?


If no data is available, are there plans to undertake baseline testing to reassure the consumer that locally caught fish and shellfish is free from contaminants, and if no plans are in place, why not?



Environmental Health send samples to the UK for radioactivity tests on lobster, spider crab and brown crab as part of the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) monitoring programme.

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

We do not test for other pollutants, chemicals and hazardous substances nor do we carry out any tests on the other species mentioned.

It is the responsibility of Industry to undertake the necessary tests to ensure the final product is safe to eat.


Levels of radioactivity have barely changed in Jersey samples since testing began.

Information on the results of radioactivity tests between 1990 and 2009 can be found on the States of Jersey website at the following link:



The Food Safety (Jersey) Law 1966 requires that businesses must ensure the food they provide to consumers is safe to eat.

There are no plans in place to undertake secondary testing, although primary producers of marine food are inspected by the Environmental Health section of the Department of the Environment.

Inspections carried out include:

  • structure of the premises (including boats)

  • documented procedures

  • what tests a producer undertakes

  • why they undertake these tests

  • their findings

  • how these compare to known standards 

  • what action is taken if a result indicates a level of something higher than an accepted amount

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