• Sweden's news in English

Fishing industry quiet on worms in cod: report

TT/Clara Guibourg · 3 Jul 2011, 12:39

Published: 03 Jul 2011 12:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

But the Swedish fishing industry has kept a tight lid on information about the growing numbers, according to a report in newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

"The worry is that it'll have very negative consequences, and that people will stop eating fish. So we want more information on the subject and so far this has not been a financial priority," Sven-Gunnar Lunneryd, an expert on seals, told the newspaper.

Though the symptoms usually disappear within two weeks, severe cases can see the cod worm eating its way through the stomach and showing up in other places in the body.

According to the DN report, one unlucky man in the United States suffered from a truly stubborn cod worm after eating sushi.

The parasite crawled up his esophagus, and from there proceeded to eat its way through into the man's neck.

Another incident reported by the paper was one sufferer who coughed up live worms after experiencing a ticklish and achy throat.

But when a similar revelation was made in Germany in the 1980's it caused a significant drop in fish consumption and authorities are fearing the same will happen in Sweden, Lunneryd told the paper.

"There aren't any reports about this being common in the Baltic, so I got interested and looked through 2,000 fishes collected in the area. From these we can see that the parasite is quite common."

Southern areas of Sweden, including the southern coast of Skåne and the waters outside Blekinge and Öland, seem to be hit especially hard.

According to Lunneryd, this is well known among his co-workers at the Swedish Board of Fisheries (Fiskeriverket, now Havs- och vattenmyndigheten).

But even so, he says no official investigations have been made, nor have any reports been written. In fact, Lunneryd's study was made in his own free time.

One person who's seen the cod worm up close is Harry Löfgren, who was just about to eat his newly-caught cod on Friday when he received a nasty surprise.

Story continues below…

"I noticed something moving in my sauce," the 9-year-old told DN.

Despite his father cooking the fresh caught cod, the worms, which were "yellow and about a centimeter long", were very much alive, according to the newspaper.

"Next time we will freeze the fillets before we cook them," the boy told the paper.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:15 July 3, 2011 by jacquelinee
that is disgusting. I guess evry kind of edible flesh should be well done when it is cooked.
17:13 July 3, 2011 by el dorado
In regard to health concerns in general, there's also supposed to be rising numbers of tuberculosis in Sweden...
21:34 July 3, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Sushi chefs are trained to find and remove such worms - they're actually quite common in ocean-going fish. And here in the states, when cod are filleted they are examined over a light table to find them. Cod is sold in every supermarket, and problems are extremely rare. Game fishermen who go out on boats to catch cod for personal consumption do have to be careful about cleaning cod and cooking them fully through.
02:48 July 4, 2011 by GLO
You dont eat raw fish!!!!
15:57 July 4, 2011 by David Kemp
My late father-in-law who was a fisherman in Orkney would never eat cod. He always said that it was full of worms, as it was a 'bottom feeder' and ate all the rubbish on the sea floor. My wife still never eats cod to this day. I only eat it as fish and chips in the UK when I reckon the frying will have killed anything harmful. Stick to haddock, herring and salmon.
00:48 July 7, 2011 by nimshubur
Of course fish have worms. Freeze fish to be eaten raw. Cook fish thoroughly, as you would pork. For extra safety, freeze all fish, and then cook thoroughly.

Anisakis can be transmitted by seals, but are as likely to be excreted by cetaceans. As for herring and salmon, anisakis are quite common in those species.

Freshwater species can also transmit parasites.
18:23 July 8, 2011 by lindenb
Your lucky that it isnt as bad as this unfortunate Australian Couple... not normally found in Australia, worms larvae eaten from fish. 30% of eels in Asia have them.. a delicacy in parts of Asia.. These worms have teeth and can attach organs and the spin for over 10yrs if untreated.. first of its kind find in Australia..

Today's headlines
'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available