Shellfish Harvesting sites re-opened after standards reached

 29 June 2016  |  

Restrictions at two shellfish harvesting areas have now been lifted

Restrictions at two shellfish harvesting areas have now been lifted

South Ayrshire Council has now re-opened two classified shellfish harvesting areas covering North Bay, Barassie, Culzean Bay, Croy, Turnberry and Meikle Craigs at Prestwick. The sites were closed to commercial shellfish harvesting on Friday 10 June after high levels of marine biotoxin were discovered in shellfish.

Marine algae sometimes produce toxins which can accumulate in the flesh of shellfish and cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) in humans if consumed.

The decision to re-open both areas on Wednesday 29 June followed further testing which found levels of marine biotoxin ASP in shellfish flesh had reduced to a safe level.

The high levels of toxin first came to light as a result of routine sampling under Food Standards Scotland's Algal Toxins in Shellfish Monitoring Programme. Monitoring will continue with samples being taken on a weekly basis throughout the summer to ensure marine toxin levels remain at a safe level.

Warning signs have now been removed from Barassie, Troon, Prestwick, Culzean and Croy and members of the public are free once again to resume normal recreational activities on the beaches. Previous advice from The Veterinary Poisons Information Service to hose down dogs that had entered the sea in affected areas has also been lifted.

Further information on this incident is available from the South Ayrshire Council website