Work Packages


The objectives of the ECsafeSEAFOOD project will be addressed through a work plan comprising of eight work packages.

For an optimised focus of all partners’ qualities and skills, the project has been structured around six technical Work Packages (WP1 – 6), one work package focused on the Dissemination activities (WP7) and a final one dealing with the coordination of the project (WP8).

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WP 1: Database and selection of priority contaminants

In WP1, acomprehensive literature review will be performed. Data already available on priority environmental contaminants in seafood, toxicology and risk assessment will also be collected. Sources of information to be used include scientific literature, data from national and international monitoring programmes, and the ECsafeSEAFOOD monitoring scheme. Relevant issues related to climate change are also to be included. The collected information will be screened to select the most toxicologically relevant priority environmental contaminants to monitor based on different criteria.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 2: Monitoring environmental contaminants in seafood and environment and effect of processing/cooking

WP2 will monitor levels of priority contaminants, biotoxins and micro-plastics in selected seafood. High risk species in high risk areas will be prioritised, based on information provided in WP1, in order to focus on contaminants that may be relevant to human health. With this focus, target seafood species from three origins (wild, farmed and imported (from outside Europe)) will be monitored. The species will be chosen according to different criteria, including:

a) Level of consumption in Europe

b) Range of typical published contaminants

c) Geographical area

d) Trophic level

e) Intrinsic characteristics of species.

WP2 also aims to understand the role of marine litter in bioaccumulation and assess the effect of processing and cooking on levels of priority contaminants in seafood.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 3: Risk assessment/modelling of consumer exposure and mitigation strategies to reduce health risks

WP3 aims to perform a risk analysis in order to assess the impact of seafood contaminants on public health. What kind of information is necessary and should be disseminated to the general public in order to reduce public health risks from seafood consumption will be investigated. Mitigation strategies will be developed, including guidelines or regulations to achieve safety seafood, and an online tool to enable different stakeholders to access information about the risks and benefits of seafood consumption. Innovative mitigation technologies, such as phycoremediation (the use of algae to remove pollutants, will also be characterised.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 4: Development of fast screening methods to detect environmental contaminants in seafood WP4 involves the development of fast screening methods to detect relevant priority environmental contaminants identified in WP1. The devices will use antibodies, phages (viruses that infect and replicate within bacteria), aptamers (single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that can bind to pre-selected targets including proteins and peptides with high affinity and specificity) and molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) specifically designed for target environmental contaminants, which will be incorporated in sensors. These tools will be validated in real operating conditions and will be extremely useful for food producers, suppliers and authorities.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 5: Toxicological impact of chemical contaminants in public health

In WP5 the relevant priority environmental contaminants identified in WP3 are tested in realistic conditions using different tools. The tools to be used include bioaccessibility (the potential for a substance to interact with, and be absorbed by, an organism), bioavailability (the degree and rate at which a substance absorbed into a living system or is made available at the site of physiological activity), cytotoxicity (the degree to which something is toxic to living cells) and genotoxicity (the degree to which a substance is damaging to DNA). This work package will make use of cell lines, and whole animal studies using zebrafish as a vertebrate model. The results will provide valuable information for complementing the risk assessment (WP3).

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 6: Transfer of contaminants from the marine environment to seafood and effect of climate change

WP6 aims to investigate the transfer of toxicologically relevant priority environmental contaminants (identified in WP3) between water, sediment, feed, litter and seafood, taking into account the effect of climate change. It involves controlled trials with salmon, seabream, edible crab and clams as models.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 7: Dissemination, knowledge transfer and IPR management

WP7 aims to effectively communicate and disseminate the results of the project to key stakeholders and the wider public. It will produce guidelines, reports, and a dedicated ECsafeSEAFOOD web-site, and organise several workshops. National and European agencies such as EFSA and other EU institutions will be the main target as they will be one of the main means to communicate the ECsafeSEAFOOD results to the wider public.The focus is consumer protection and reduction of public health risks through clear and practical information to policy makers, food producers and the general public.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.


WP 8: Project Management

WP8 will ensure efficient management of the project to meet project objectives and to bring the project to a successful conclusion. It will ensure that the work and tasks are completed on time and to a high quality, and will monitor the projects expenses. The coordinator will fulfil the contractual, legal and administrative obligations.

For more information on this individual WP please click here.

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