Moscow may ban Norwegian fresh fish

Norwegian salmon in Moscow shop. Photo: Jonas Karlsbakk.

This week Russia may stop accepting fresh fish from Norway due to violations of quality standards and norms. The ban is not to be spread on the frozen fish.


The Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) says they have discovered salmonella, roots of listeriosis, and alive larva of threadworms in seafood imported from Norway.

“We had negotiations with Norwegian Food Safety Agency (Mattilsynet), but did not achieve understanding”, representative of Rosselkhoznadzor Aleksey Alekseenko says to

Rosselkhoznadzor threatens to stop fresh Norwegian fish delivery until Norway starts following the Russian legislation rules. If the ban is imposed, cheap Norwegian salmon and trout disappear from Russian shops, and will be replaced by expensive fish from the Far East.

“The Norwegian side replied our claims with the statement, that the fish is going to be boiled or fried while cooking, and all the bacteria will die. But there is no guarantee that the products will be heat-treated. Anyway, it’s not very pleasant to eat seafood with dead larva of threadworms”, says Alekseenko.

Meanwhile experts believe Norway won’t let the ban happen, as Russia remains one of the main markets for its fish products.

It’s not the first claim about the quality of Norwegian food. Last year the Russian sanitary service stopped fish products deliveries from 15 Norwegian companies, though it did not prevent Russia from becoming the biggest importer of the Norwegian seafood.

In 2011 Russia imported about 300,000 tons of seafood or 10 percent of total Norwegian export. Last year Russia bought 104,000 tons of Norwegian salmon with total price of €401,000.