Ships in the dawn Octopus
Risk assessment with integrated tools in EU fish production value chains
Fish fillets Seafood

Who is involved?

Approval date: August 15, 2012 / Project management: Santiago Pascual

PARASITE provides a multidisciplinary approach to detect, monitor and mitigate risk of seafood - borne parasites. To ensure this, the Consortium is composed of 12 European and 3 Asian research institutions (RTD) and 6 European small and medium - sized enterprises (SMEs) from a total of 13 countries.

    The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain, and the third largest in Europe. In the framework of the PARASITE project, it provides knowledge and experience in the field of sampling and data management, epidemiology, detection and mitigation methods and technologies, parasite biology, genetics, proteomics and dissemination. Its participation is carried out with the involvement of four research groups belonging to three different research centres.

    Contribution to the project: CSIC is the coordinating partner of the PARASITE project.

    Ecology and Marine Biodiversity –ECOBIOMAR research group, CSIC(IIM-E), at IIM-CSIC –web studies the biodiversity, community structure and abiotic and biotic interactions in marine ecosystems, concreted in two main research fields: parasite and marine ecology.
    CSIC(IIM-E) is the project coordinator. It is involved in epidemiological data collection and it carries out a case study on Pacific squid imports to Spain (WP2). Furthermore, it is in charge of sample and data management by means of the biobank, having a node located in its facilities (WP3). It also contributes to improve UV methodology and participates in ring trials (WP6). CSIC(IIM-E) participates in the assessment and development of interventions in the food chain to reduce risk (WP7) and provides data for performing the quantitative risk analysis (WP8).

    Seafood Chemistry research group (CSIC-QPM) at IIM-CSIC – web deals with chemical and biochemical methods for the quality evaluation of fishery products. CSIC-QPM performs the allergen characterization and correlation with Anisakis spp. and its genetic structure (WP5).
    Department of Products has a solid experience on food science and technology focused on fish and fish products from different aspects.
    CSIC-ICTAN is in charge of the assessment and development of interventions in the food chain to reduce risk (WP7) and contributes to optimization of allergen/antigen extraction method and antigen detection immunoblotting (WP5).

    Biodiversity and Evolutive Biology Department, from MNCN-CSIC –web is aimed to describe biodiversity patterns in animals and to infer and demonstrate the mechanisms and processes linked to them under an evolutionary perspective. Nematodes are one of its target species.
    MNCN-CSIC tests microsatellite loci on few selected populations of Anisakis simplex s.s. and Anisakis pegreffii (WP4) and contributes to antigen proteomics, including genetic variability (WP5). It participates in the development of immune detection assays (WP6) and in the assessment of interventions in the food chain to reduce risk (WP7).
    The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES, is a research institute owned by, and directly linked to, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, and gives research based advice to the government and national food safety authority in matters concerning the “fjord to fork” production chain of seafood, as well as scientific support the Norwegian fishing industry.

    Contribution to the project: NIFES is dealing with the epidemiological data compilation of zoonotic parasites in various key fish species or products on EU/EEA markets (WP2). Besides the data compilation, samples of whole parasites will be obtained and subsequently registered and deposited in the project’s biobank node for whole parasites, which is located at NIFES (WP3). Additionally, NIFES participates in the improvement of the UV-based detection methodology of zoonotic nematodes in fishery products (WP6). Finally, NIFES runs a task that aims to study the interactions between parasites and bacteria in the flesh of post harvest fish under different storage conditions (WP7).
    The Tuscia University (UT-URS, aims to bring together researchers, infrastructure and skills concerning environmental assessment, evolutionary issues and bio-medical area. The Laboratories of the Department involved in the Project proposal will be: the Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and the Laboratory of Parasites Ecology, created in collaboration with the “Sapienza-University of Rome” (URS).

    Contribution to the project: UT-URS leads the hazard identification (WP4) and contributes to epidemiological data collection along the project development. It also carries out a case study on fresh tuna products in Italy (WP2), participates in the biobank structure by hosting a sub-biobank and implements assessment utilities (WP3), improves molecular methodology and participates in the ring trials (WP6) and collects relevant data for the quantitative risk analysis (WP8).
    The Laboratory for Fishery Products of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and occupational health and safety (ANSES,, works in cooperation with seafood professionals and authorities to assess risks related to microbiological and biochemical quality of seafood products.

    Contribution to the project: ANSES contributes to the epidemiological data collection along the project development. It also carries out a case study on fresh tuna products in France (WP2), molecular identification, by means of mtDNA cox2 sequence analysis, of samples of anisakid and raphidascarid nematodes and DNA sequence analysis (WP4).
    The Centro Tecnológico del Mar - Fundación CETMAR (CETMAR, is a Public Foundation promoted by the Regional Government of Galicia together with the former Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, aimed to improve the conditions for the sustainable use of marine resources and in this framework, to increase the efficiency of related economic sectors, namely the fishing industry, aquaculture and seafood processing industries, etc. The departments of Technology Promotion and Transfer, and the Fish and Seafood Technologies Department are involved in the project.

    Contribution to the project: CETMAR is in charge of the innovation, communication and dissemination strategy (WP9). Furthermore, it organizes and produces tutorials on beta-testing at industrial level (WP6), contributes to manage the on-board prototype homologation (WP7) and participates in the quantitative risk assessment and analysis of consumers’ willingness to pay (WP8)
    The Servicio Madrileño de Salud (SERMAS, portal de salud comunidad de madrid) is a public entity that manages all the public hospitals in the Madrid region, and is designated as a reference centre for certain diseases, being involved in research on infectious diseases, immunology, neurology and internal medicine. Departments of Immunology and Allergy of three Spanish public hospitals are contributing to the PARASITE project with a wide experience in clinical and laboratory diagnosis and clinical research in allergy.

    Contribution to the project: SERMAS is the partner in charge of characterizing anisakids antigens and analysing immune responses to the anisakids antigens (WP5). Furthermore, this partner is involved in other project activities in order to evaluate human health risk posed by parasites in seafood.
  • ExpandFAMRI / HAVSTOVAN / Faroe Islands.
    Havstovan, the Faroe Marine Research Institute (FAMRI,, is a governmental institute with the objective to conduct research on commercially exploited fish stocks, the marine climate and ecosystems in Faroese waters, to communicate the results to the general public and to provide the Government of the Faroe Islands with advice based on its research.

    Contribution to the project: FAMRI mainly contributes to the epidemiological data collection (WP2), covering the area around the Faroe Islands and its fishing grounds.
    The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, is the leading technical and scientific public body of the Italian National Health Service, and carries out activities such as research, control, training and consultation in the interest of public health protection. The Unit of Gastrointestinal and Tissue Parasitic Diseases of the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases of the ISS performs research, diagnosis, surveillance, and control activities related to both helminthic and protozoan zoonoses.

    Contribution to the project: ISS is involved in the evaluation of the performance characteristics of the developed/implemented methods under the project (WP6). ISS is committed in organizing inter-laboratory comparison studies, following the ISO/IEC 17043:2010, to evaluate the performance of the participating laboratories, to identify problems and to initiate actions for improvement. ISS is engaged in studies aimed at elucidating the allergenic nature of anisakid parasites other than Anisakis spp. (WP5)
    The Institute for Biotechnology and Environment (IBE) belonging to Nha Trang University (, is composed of the Department of Biotechnology, the Department of Environmental Engineering and the Research and Development Department with the mission of research, training and building, operation and technological transfer in the biotechnology and environment.

    Contribution to the project: IBE studies the presence of zoonotic parasites in Vietnamese Pangasius production systems (WP2) and contributes to the molecular and genetic characterization and populations’ genetic analysis of anisakid nematodes and other parasites of zoonotic relevance (WP4).
  • ExpandZOUC / ZHEJIANG OCEAN UNIVERSITY /China (People's Republic of).
    The Zhejiang Ocean University (ZOUC, has the provincial Priority of the Most Important Disciplines of Fishery Science and Technology, the provincial key discipline of Marine Biology and national and provincial innovative platforms.

    Contribution to the project: ZUOC contributes to study the presence of zoonotic parasites in Chinese short-finned squid (WP2) and also to the molecular and genetic characterization and populations’ genetic analysis of anisakid nematodes and other parasites of zoonotic relevance (WP4).
    The Central Luzon State University (CLSU, is one of the well established and comprehensive institutions of higher learning dedicated to the development of research and technologies in agriculture and fisheries. CLSU carries out various fisheries research works including researches on anisakid nematodes.

    Contribution to the project: CLSU participates in the assessment of parasite exposure (WP2) focusing on a case study on tuna in the Philippines and the presence of zoonotic parasites in fishery product imports on European key markets. Also, CLSU is involved in hazard identification (WP4), in the molecular characterization and population genetic analysis of genetic structure of anisakids from the Philippines."
    The Max Rubner-Institute (MRI, is the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food in Germany. Its research focus is health and consumer protection in the nutrition sector. Important fields of research are the determination and nutritional assessment of health relevant food ingredients, the investigation of careful and resource-preserving procedures of processing, the quality assurance of vegetable and animal food as well as the analysis of sociological parameters of nutrition and the improvement of nutrition information. The Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish (MF) is the department involved in the project.

    Contribution to the project: MRI is the partner in charge of the surveillance of anisakid nematodes in the western Baltic herring stock and runs a case study on zoonotic parasites in Nile perch fillets (WP2). Furthermore this partner is involved in the technological enhancement of the UV-press method and the improvement of the visual inspection scheme for the detection of nematodes. It cooperates with TECHNET in the development of a low cost viability test device for Anisakid nematodes (WP6).
    The research fields and techniques of the University of Copenhagen (UCPH, erforms parasite diagnostics using a variety of techniques. It belongs to the Biomedicine Section, which is specialized in experimental animal models.

    Contribution to the project: UCPH contributes to the epidemiological data collection (WP2) and performs infectivity studies with rodent models (WP7).
    The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IZOR, is a scientific institution established for the investigation of the sea. Their scientific activities encompass all aspects concerned with sea exploration. Moreover, teaching/training activities have been conducted since 1998, when IZOR developed and established Marine Fisheries and Marine Biology and Ecology Study, and services and consulting has been offered in frame of environmental and fisheries processes.

    Contribution to the project: IZOR is involved in the sampling of the commercially most important fish species in the East Adriatic Sea fishing ground (chub mackerel, anchovy, sardine, blue whiting, hake) for contributing with epidemiological data to the project (WP2). It also participates in identification of the parasites isolated from the Adriatic fish using molecular tools (mtDNA cox2 gene) and their characterization of genetic structure testing developed microsatellites (WP4).
    The University of Aberdeen (UNIABDN, is an ambitious, research-driven university with an outstanding history of pioneering discoveries which have changed thinking and practice in medicine, science, arts and humanities over five centuries. Research in the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences (IBES, addresses the fundamental biological consequences of environmental change. Within IBES, Oceanlab ( undertakes a wide range of research, participating in and leading projects in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans.

    Contribution to the project: UNIABDN is the leader of WP8 (modelling of parasite prevalence, willingness to pay analysis and risk assessment) and participates in WPs 1 (general project administration), 2 (data collection on parasites in fished species) and 9 (dissemination). University of Aberdeen is in charge of data analysis and statistical modelling. In particular we will analyse patterns in prevalence of parasites in fish from the project area, as well as for collating and analysing data/evidence on human health impacts, and analysing data on consumer attitudes (“willingness to pay” analysis). In addition we will collect and analyse data on parasite prevalence in fish from Scottish waters in collaboration with the parasitology team at the Marine Science Scotland marine laboratory in Aberdeen.
    Larpro Engineering, S.L. (LARPRO, is an independent privately held Spanish Technological Consultancy firm founded in 2009. It is specialized in supporting private and public entities in the field of product, process, service innovation, technology transfer and sustainability, working with private companies and public entities in different sectors as naval, food, biotechnology and transport. LARPRO can assume different roles in the R&D and innovation projects, taking responsibility for performing the integrated project management, the system requirement definition, taking part of the product development, or performing process modelisation, etc.

    Contribution to the project: LARPRO supports the project as a secretariat, handling the administrative project management, which is quite important in a consortium with 21 partners. LARPRO also works on the evaluation of the tools and methods from a cost-benefit point of view, identifying potential risks and roadblocks, so that the future impact in the industry value chain can be maximized.
    The Vessel Owners´ Co-operative of the Port of Vigo (ARVI,, was formally established on 1964 to encourage economic and social improvement of its members. Nowadays ARVI and its related associations have managed to constitute the most important group of ship-owners in Spain and one of the most important in the EU. This gives them a privileged position for the relations with the regional, national and the EU administrations, which is essential for addressing the present and future of the Common Fisheries Policy daily negotiations concerning matters of interest for the sector.

    Contribution to the project: ARVI participates in beta-testing UV microtech and molecular methods (WP6). It also provides parasites and carries out the prototype on-board testing of a device to kill zoonotic Anisakis in offal, performing the necessary experiments (WP7)
    Comercial Hospitalaria Grupo 3 (CHG3,, is a company dedicated to the commercialization of scientific equipment for laboratories, hospitals and industry. Their main research interests are in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Morphological Sciences, Pathological Anatomy and Forensic Science, Chemical Physics Analysis, Ginecology and special Analysis Techniques.

    Contribution to the project: CHG3 is involved in the Biobank management, particularly it is in charge of node organization and infrastructure and data management (WP3). This partner also participates in the development of a validated computer-image system with large sampling capacity, which will be used to analyze UV images for mass screening of parasites in fishery products (WP6).
    Technet GMBH Grundig + Partner (TNET, is involved in many innovation projects for which numerical and experimental mastery of the interaction of form (geometry), material and forces is essential. TNET products are used for the development of fish cages for aquaculture or biogas plants. In the analytical sector, supervising tools for large and small scale structures are in the centre of activities. Their fields of work include development of tools for design, analysis and management of large and small scale structures consisting of multi-component material or applications ranging from structural engineering to analysis of fabrics and biological tissue.

    Contribution to the project: TNET is involved in the development of a new technical device to test the viability of parasites in processed fish products (WP6).
  • ExpandHERMES / HERMES AS / Norway.
    Hermes AS (HERMES, is a company owning one vessel, the freezer trawler M/Tr "Hermes", which fishes all year round and produces approximately 5000 metric tonnes of whitefish and shrimps a year, all caught in the cold and clear waters of the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea as well as the fishing grounds around Spitsbergen. The company offers a wide variety of sea frozen products.

    Contribution to the project: HERMES contributes to epidemiological data collection (WP2) and participates in beta-testing UV microtech (WP6).
    Nederlof's Vishandel BV (NEDERLOF’S, is a small company located in Stellendam (the Netherlands), dealing with international seafood commerce., It mainly markets fresh and frozen seafood and is also active in seafood processing and stocking. Its dimension allows staff to care for product quality and for the relationship both with suppliers and customers, and almost all operations are performed within the company’s facilities, that are HACCP certified and have an EC number.

    Contribution to the project: NEDERLOF’S contributes to the project by supplying the necessary Mediterranean fish species and participates in beta-testing trials (WP6). As representatives of the industry itself, it will specially benefit from the project outcomes as direct users.