Harvesting of shellfish

Some species of shellfish (live bivalve molluscs), such as oysters, mussels, cockles etc., are filter feeders and accumulate sewage contamination and toxins from the water around them therefore their consumption may cause illness.

To control the risk of illness, live bivalve molluscs being placed on the market for human consumption must originate from a classified production area.

Areas are classified per species according to the degree of contamination, based on monitoring of faecal contamination in the shellfish. Only shellfish from Class A waters can be placed on the market directly.

An annual list of classified areas is published by Food Standards Scotland covering the period 1st April to 31st March the following year and is divided by local authority area and provides all the current shellfish harvesting production area details.

South Ayrshire Council regularly sample our classified production area, to ensure levels of bacteria and algal toxins are safe. View a table of the latest algal toxins results. Temporary closure notices, prohibiting the harvesting of shellfish, are served where results reveal a risk to public health.

Areas currently classified within South Ayrshire are:

Production Area Species Site Name Boundaries Status
North Bay Razors Barassie (SA-337-719-16) Area bounded by lines drawn between NS 2800 3450, NS 3200 3450, NS 3200 3200, NS 3079 3188 and NS 2800 3100 extending to MHWS OPEN
CLASSIFICATION
2018
A: April - December
2019
A: January - March
Croy Bay Razors Culzean Bay (SA-681-1482-16) Area bounded by lines drawn between NS24471386, NS23591410, NS18630707, NS19160454, NS18700149, NX17649880, NX18329880, extending to MHWS OPEN
CLASSIFICATION
2018
A: April - December
2019
A: January - March
Girvan South Razors Razors Girvan South Razors Area bounded by lines drawn between points NX18009830, NX17009528, NX14209570, NX14539961 extending to MHWS. OPEN
CLASSIFICATION
2018
B: April - December
2019
B: January to March

Shellfish Traceability

To ensure traceability of the product, a registration document requires to accompany each batch of live shellfish during transportation from the production area to the dispatch or purification centre.

Please contact us for registration documents if you wish to gather shellfish from a classified production area within South Ayrshire.

All shellfish leaving an approved dispatch or purification centre must be labelled with an identification mark, which includes their unique approval number, before being placed on the market for human consumption.