The Swedish government decided Friday to continue requesting a special exemption to sell fatty fish from the Baltic Sea in Sweden, despite dioxin levels too high to be sold elsewhere, reports news site The Local.
Included in the exemption is Baltic herring, which, when fermented, becomes the core ingredient found in one of Sweden’s most beloved (and reviled) culinary offerings – surströmming.
The Fisheries Secretariat reports that the government had asked two of its agencies, the Board of Fisheries and the National Food Administration, to commit recommendations on whether or not to ask for a prolongation. Claiming that most small-scale fisheries along the east coast would “most probably” be wiped out if the dispensation were revoked, the Board of Fisheries recommended a prolongation, while the National Food Administration was against it, holding forth public health aspects.
“To me it is important that the tradition to eat Surströmming is safe,” agricultural minister Eskil Erlandsson said during a Friday press conference.
The minister said that the government will intensify information campaigns about the risks of eating too much fat fish from the Baltic Sea.
Recently, a Swedish fishmonger broke the law when he sold 300 kg of salmon from the Baltic Sea to France, according to the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten. Because of the high levels of dioxin, it is illegal to export Baltic salmon from Sweden.
Read more on other news sites:
Sweden vows to fight EU over smelly fish (The Local)
Sweden goes for prolonged dioxin exemption (The Fisheries Secretariat)
Förbruden lax såld till Frankrike (Göteborgs-Posten, Swedish)