Fish Seafood & Aquaculture

  • We understand the fish, seafood and aquaculture landscape. With a portfolio of services that we can tailor to suit your needs.
  • Contact Us
Fish Seafood & Aquaculture

Original Thinking...Applied

According to the total fish supply will increase from 154 million tons, to 186 million tons in 2030. Aquaculture’s share in global supply is going to continue to expand to the point where capture fisheries and aquaculture will be contributing equal amounts by 2030. Aquaculture is projected to supply over 60 percent of fish destined for direct human consumption by 2030 currently being the fastest growing animal food-producing sector. Due to the growing demand of fish and seafood Fera have developed a comprehensive range of services to support the industry. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

"Fera has a comprehensive range of analytical, authenticity, fraud prevention and knowledge management services to support the fish and aquaculture industry. Helping to ensure quality and safety in this growing industry. "

Fera Science Ltd


UK consumers are becoming more and more aware of the connection between food and health. As a result of fish, seafood and other aquaculture products being high in essential nutrients, important proteins and healthy fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) they have grown in popularity.

Despite the many health benefits of fish, consumption can also pose a potential risk. Contaminants can find their way into our water system and be absorbed by fish. Eating contaminated fish poses notable health risks. When using HorizonScan, to compare food safety recalls and alerts on animal products from EU and non-EU sources over the past 15 years veterinary drug residues were found to be among the top three hazards reported in seafood. The reporting frequency of over 15% resulted in product recalls and import refusals due the risk posed to public health.

Levels of mercury in fish may be another risk within the seafood we eat. Mercury itself is a naturally occurring element that is present throughout the environment, in plants and animals. Industrial practices such as coal fires, smelting, and incineration have caused an increase in the amount of mercury in the environment which then reaches the water. Mercury bioaccumulates in the environment in predatory fish: swordfish, mackerel, marlin, tilefish, and tuna are examples of fish that are at risk of having dangerous levels of heavy metals such as mercury.

Accurate testing to ensure food quality and safety is an imperative part of your future business model. To keep one step ahead of your competitors for food safety you need to go beyond just doing what is needed to be compliant. Begin a partnership you can trust to support your growth...

Being a National Reference Laboratory we offer a portfolio of analytical testing services to the fish, seafood and aquaculture industry to ensure quality and safety in accordance to accreditation DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Minimising your risk, protecting your brand and building brand loyalty:

Service Description

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, occur naturally. Regulatory bodies around the world have set maximum limits for arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury in fish and seafood.


Uptake of pesticides by fish, leading to the occurrence of residues in fish products, can occur following ingestion of feed containing a pesticide residue. Consequently, residues in products of fish origin need to be evaluated. Residues are controlled through a system of statutory Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) which are the maximum safe amounts of residue likely to remain in food products. Fera food safety experts can identify (screen), and quantify, residues within your food sample using state of the art GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS equipment.

Veterinary Residues Veterinary drugs are often used to protect the health and value of aquaculture products. Fish and seafood products raised or housed in crowded conditions are susceptible to disease, which often leads to use of therapeutic drugs, such as antibiotics, to treat affected animals. Their ability to control and prevent disease, as well as increasing weight gain, has led to widespread use within the industry. These drugs can bioaccumulate in fish and seafood. The monitoring of residues of authorised veterinary medicines is important to ensure that residues that exceed established legal limits do not enter the food chain.
Dioxins Fera food safety experts can establish the levels of a range of Dioxins and PCBs within your fish and seafood samples as part of our comprehensive range of analytical services we provide to the fish and seafood industry.

Our accredited methods of analysis to screen and quantify Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) are important and can confirm that levels of these potentially harmful chemicals within fish and seafood are below legislative limits.

Fraud prevention & supply chain resilience:


We used our HorizonScan database to compare food safety recalls and alerts on seafood over the past 15 years, and the results are quite revealing. Veterinary drug residues for example are among the top three hazards reported for seafood with the reporting frequency over 15%. In Europe seafood veterinary drug residues have a much lower reporting frequency (seafood: 1.5%) than in non-European countries.

While this is revealing, it is not surprising, as the EU has one of the strictest legal requirements in terms of permissible uses of veterinary medicines in order to protect consumer safety. Meaning the UK food sector needs to be much more vigilant with regards to veterinary drug residue. Additionally, as the supply chain becomes more and more complex, to avoid surprises and make food supply chains more resilient and assure consumers when supply routes change, suppliers and retailers should be constantly horizon scanning for risks.

Labelling accuracy

Polyphosphates are naturally occurring and are present in muscle tissue and play an important role in rigor mortis of fish. Adding polyphosphates to seafood once caught proves very useful in increasing the quality and shelf life of the product, reduces thaw drip, and improves texture and appearance of fish fillets as it improves their water-binding capacity.

Whilst polyphosphates are legally permitted additives that are widely used to aid processing of fish products what is worrying is that soaking in polyphosphate increases the uptake of water adding weight to produce and potentially increasing the cost of the goods.

Whilst this practice is permitted declaration of the food additive is required in labelling. Polyphosphates analysis helps the food and fish industry to ensure their product label claims for adding polyphosphates to their seafood products are correct and provides assurance that products don’t contain any unwanted added phosphates. And can also help combat unscrupulous suppliers fraudulently increasing the unit price. To aid in the declaration of polyphosphates we have developed a test that detects the amount of 'added' phosphates in prawns and white fish, distinguishing between the naturally occurring levels of phosphates and the level of added phosphates.

Copyright © 2024 Fera Science Limited (“Fera”). All rights reserved.

Registered Office: York BioTech Campus, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ. Registered in England & Wales, No 9413107. VAT Registration ID: GB 456401013
For further information about how Fera uses any personal data collected from you, please see our Privacy Notice at